Mike King quits suicide-prevention panel & claims real suicide rate is twice as high as officials say

By   /   May 16, 2017  /   30 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

A nation that kills itself with the passion ours does is a damaged culture demanding immediate recognition and action now. The denial is beneath us and those who tragically take their own lives. Imagine if we took that $1.7billion ‘surplus’ that National supposedly have and reinvested it into Suicide prevention?

Mike King has mana. He has fought to get suicide on the agenda, he has fought to get us as a country to recognise the scale of the problem and he has reached out to those in trauma.

For him to quit the suicide-prevention panel  because they won’t even look at a 20% reduction is outrageous and simply further proof of how this government get community leaders to buy into their bullshit and then simply ignore their voice when the goals are set.

Mike’s resignation letter on Facebook is damning evidence of a Government too timid and frightened to do anything meaningful.

Mike has followed this resignation up with a shacking claim this morning that our real suicide rate is actually twice that of what our officials claims.

That’s a 1000 NZ lives taken by suicide every year. That’s a 1000 families wrecked by the carnage of suicide. That’s friends, whanau, workmates, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers suffering the worst kind of loss every year.

We spend tens of millions advertising to lower our road toll of 340, what the fuck are we doing to counter our weeping wound of suicide?

So where’s the public outrage?

Where’s the reaction?

Where’s the clustering of experts at 6pm on the news?

There isn’t any and we all know why right?

It’s because we don’t want top hear the answers. The grim reality is that the 30+year old social experiment in neoliberalism has failed us terribly.

We don’t want to hear that an increasingly individualised user pays consumer culture has a hollowness and disconnection with whanau. We don’t want to hear that toxic masculinity damages men as violently as it damages women. We don’t want to hear that our lack of social cohesion and under funded social infrastructure is part of a group responsibility.

We want the neoliberal myth that the individual is responsible for all. If you are poor, you choose to be poor. If you are vulnerable, you choose to be vulnerable. If you succeed and are rich, you choose that success and wealth.

Neoliberalism has to be built upon the myth of the individual succeeding in a market place with no hegemonies or biased play fields. This allows neoliberalism to ignore having to solve any of those ‘individual choices’.

We refuse to tackle suicide because the answers demand too much from us in a user pays culture where selfishness and narcissism have become common currency.

The Guardian pointed out how we have been cut up and isolated for the sake of neoliberalism, any progressive Government coming into power must consider rebuilding civil society if we are genuine about making real change to these grey and grim shakey Isles.

Social media has its own way of making this worse, a culture of abusive trolling and shame calling only adds to isolation and depression. Even a tool that should bind us has become a way to hurt.

Economic Darwinism is not a solution.

A nation that kills itself  with the passion ours does is a damaged culture demanding immediate recognition and action now. The denial is beneath us and those who tragically take their own lives. Imagine if we took that $1.7billion ‘surplus’ that National supposedly have and reinvested it into Suicide prevention?

The horror of our suicide rate gives us a glimpse behind the ‘she’ll be right’ veneer of our culture and the dark torment of an alpha male macho mental landscape that is terribly fragile.

Our under funded social infrastructure, our ‘me first’ consumerism, our 30 years of neoliberal mythology, our disconnection from one another, our untreated pain, our lack of hope from grinding poverty in a first world country, our toxic masculinity, our unspoken rape culture, our inability to express emotion beyond anger – all of this demands questions we don’t want to hear as a society and the shame of suicide continues to hide and smother any healing.

We huddle frightened on these lonely grey crags at the end of a jagged world and slowly one by one slip off into the swallowing dark. Until we are prepared to confront many of the individualism-over-all myths and rebuild our tattered communities, our suicide rate will remain darkly reminding us of our whispered deceptions.

We must rage against the dying of the light.

***
Want to support this work? Donate today
***
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
***

30 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    yes Martyn Mike is right but this is just the tip of the iceberg most of the gnats policies are all words and no substance very broad and not specific and they have got away with this poor pathetic policy approach for 9 years why because stupid fools have let them by continually voting these nasty bastards in

  2. Rosemary McDonald says:

    Jesus, Martyn, this might just be the best thing you have ever written.

    • gregfullmoon says:

      Agreed – brilliant piece.

      The linkages to and intersection with the social and economic system are self evident – these obviously affect social wellbeing, which is experienced individually in a variety of relations and depravities.

      Suicide is a solution for the individual concerned – it is an indictment on the social conditions the suicidee individual escapes.

      As such it is an indictment on the society and the opinion/leaders of the society.

      To move the society the opinion leaders must be shifted.

      For them to move the mass have to be in a frame of mind to hear and acknowledge the larger truth, ‘the systemic drive to create a state of control and enrichment for the advantage of the privileged.’

      “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis, a documentary film series for the BBC in 2004 highlights how Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays shifted global industrially manufactured consumption from ‘need based’ to ‘desire based’.

      It’s turned out well for all of us, people, all inhabitants, planet and its biosphere.

      The video is in 4 main parts;

      1. “Happiness Machines” (originally broadcast 17 March 2002)

      2. “The Engineering of Consent” (originally broadcast 24 March 2002)

      3. “There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed” (originally broadcast 31 March 2002)

      4. “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering” (originally broadcast 7 April 2002)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s

      Wikipedia entry for the series:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_of_the_Self

      It is critical that folks apprehend the larger context and thus go for the root not flail around in the branches.

      Mike King’s resignation cuts to the root – well done.

      How to lift and transform social desire into change toward a humane and egalitarian state? The whole of the humanitarian sciences are onside… why do these not penetrate political science and international affairs?

  3. Rosemary McDonald says:

    Jesus, Martyn, this might just be the best thing you have ever written.

  4. XRAY says:

    National only ever do anything for appearances sake!

  5. Andrew says:

    Maybe someone could offer an opinion on why people get depressed and why they commit suicide?

    Oh and please not just the usual political rhetoric.

    • bert says:

      So back on topic Andrew…

      This is will be why National don’t like targets Andrew…

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201836502/govt-failing-to-reach-its-target-of-lowering-violent-crime-rate.

      National are abject failures and the result of a 5 year target for lowering crime is appalling. I doubt they wish to be failures twice.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I get seriously depressed reading many of your comments, Andrew, as what you propagate and often ignorantly utter from your keyboard, is so cold and void of any empathy, it sends a chill down my spine.

      • Jack Ramaka says:

        He is a diversionary troll paid by NACT to throw the thread offline, similar what Clinton and the Democrats did in the USA Elections ?

    • andrew says:

      So it’s just rhetoric then?

    • Sunny says:

      Ok Andrew. How’s this? A wee boy gies to school and cannot hear what the teacher is saying. the child has glue ear made worse by chronic viral and bacterial chest infections. His family live in a mouldy cold rental. He is often hungry. He is often away from school sick. So he cannot hear well and falls behind. He comes to think of himself as a failure and stops trying. He drifts through school and leaves with no qualifications. He cannot get any job that pays a decent wage. Just a few hours here and there, mostly shit jobs. He has no where to live. Jobs are in the city but affordable housing is in the boonies. His family can barely survive themselves and have no resources to help him. He thinks all this is entirely his fault somehow. WINZ trespassed him when he got angry for having his benefit cut becuase he missed an appointment he didn’t know he had (they used an old address). Then they cut off his benefit. They said later it was a mistake. But by then he had got a rope and found a tree.

  6. Mike the Lefty says:

    National’s policy on suicide prevention is little better than offering to help pick up the body afterwards.
    This government’s lack of action on the mental health disorders epidemic in this country should earn their leaders a hearing in the International Criminal court at the Hague.
    But of course that won’t happen, because they are National and our intrepid and unbiased media have deemed that they can get away with anything and will help them to do it.
    If National closed down all the public hospitals the NZ MSM would say it should have happened long ago.

  7. Strypey says:

    Over 30 years or so of fighting the neo-liberal bulldozer, and watching it casually destroy social and environmental fabric that takes decades or centuries to weave together, I’ve certainly had my share of suicidal thoughts. I’m very fortunate to have a loving family and good friends who I know would be terribly hurt if I went through with it, so instead I just drop into deep troughs of depression for weeks or months, and eventually the sun comes out again. But I know exactly what it feels like to think that it would ok not to be here anymore, if it would make the hurting stop.

  8. garibaldi says:

    They say they are an “aspirational” govt. That’s just their way of doing nothing about issues other than setting long term bullshit goals they have no intention of reaching.
    Full marks to Mike for calling them out on it, especially his final phrase..”being conducted in bad faith”.
    Where’s the media on this? Mia again.

  9. Dave says:

    Quitting wont help mate, stay and keep doing your good work.

    • bert says:

      I think what Mike is highlighting, is that no good work can be done until a government with a social conscience is employed. Clearly it is not National.

  10. Mike in Auckland says:

    Coleman and English seem to think, ahem, Mr Mike King, you know, he is a comedian, he must be joking, with what he said when he rubbished our proposals.

  11. Mike in Auckland says:

    That draft reads like endless other documents that MSD and other government publish all the time, much talk and nice sounding slogans, and little or nothing of substance, I am pleased that for once a well known and respected NZer has taken a clear stand on this scandalous crap we get from our government 24/7!

    Respect, Mike King, respect!

    I wish more would say what needs to be said, also re other issues in this country where most duck and hide, and conform, rather than stand by principles and for integrity and transparency!

  12. ankarawshark says:

    I have worked in mental health for the last 30 years.

    I took the trouble of reading the report after Mike resigned from the committee.

    I have to say I think it was an absolute disgrace. Mike is bang on.

  13. Robert Atack says:

    Great article
    Most of the world is talking in gobbly goop,
    eg 2 of the latest
    Bashar Al Assad is killing up to 50 prisoners per day, hence the on site crematorium
    An ‘anonymous’ insider says Trump gave info to Lavrov. WTF how can anything said by an ‘anonymous” source be on our news, David Bowie got it right “This is America”

    And really most people are happy listening to this kind of BS, or similar from every politician …… especially the ones that back or refuse to ‘out’ kiwisaver, as the scam it is (which is all of them). And that goes for all MSM commentators, Gareth Morgan, all investment banker/brokers. They are all fing lying.

    It is no wonder people are killing themselves, with such a massive divide between the haves and nots, and maybe all the free porn placing unexpected ‘hope’ on young people???
    People get suicidal when the BS bubble they have been sold bursts or never materializes.
    Who can we trust? Nearly everyone is lying, well actually most are just ignorant and are mouthing ‘hopes’, not having any grasp on reality.
    A fine example are the people who encourage others to vote, as if there is a choice, and as if voting for any of the dickheads would change anything?
    Now this might get my comment blocked
    As I said to the local Labor want to be Rob someone (Kapiti) we are all at the restaurant on 9/11 it doesn’t matter if you leave on your own terms via the window, or hang around a bit longer, we are all heading for the pavement. Sorry – re 410 ppm CO2.
    And bugger it all, what we are seeing is a result of overpopulation, the more of us there are, the less significant an individual, or 1,000 of them become.
    As long as Lawyers can charge $390+ per hour, and we are moving up wards of 1,000 cars via truck per day, everything is sweet.
    Just wait for the depression.
    It’s bloody sad, and I am not looking forward to my reality, meaning the crash of it all.

  14. CLEANGREEN says:

    Mike you did the right thing there.

    Now show them your abilities to again send straight messages unhindered by being hooked up to a quasi Government fish tank group that keep you controlled.

    You are much taller and more effective right outside their crappy phoney tent.

  15. Robert Atack says:

    16/05/17
    Great article
    Most of the world is talking in gobbly goop,
    eg 2 of the latest
    Bashar Al Assad is killing up to 50 prisoners per day, hence the on site crematorium
    An ‘anonymous’ insider says Trump gave info to Lavrov. WTF how can anything said by an ‘anonymous” source be on our news, David Bowie got it right “This is America”

    And really most people are happy listening to this kind of BS, or similar from every politician …… especially the ones that back or refuse to ‘out’ kiwisaver, as the scam it is (which is all of them). And that goes for all MSM commentators, Gareth Morgan, all investment banker/brokers. They are all fing lying.

    It is no wonder people are killing themselves, with such a massive divide between the haves and nots, and maybe all the free porn placing unexpected ‘hope’ on young people???
    People get suicidal when the BS bubble they have been sold bursts or never materializes.
    Who can we trust? Nearly everyone is lying, well actually most are just ignorant and are mouthing ‘hopes’, not having any grasp on reality.
    A fine example are the people who encourage others to vote, as if there is a choice, and as if voting for any of the dickheads would change anything?

    And bugger it all, what we are seeing is a result of overpopulation, the more of us there are, the less significant an individual, or 1,000 of them become.
    As long as Lawyers can charge $390+ per hour, and we are moving up wards of 1,000 cars via truck per day, everything is sweet.
    Just wait for the depression.
    It’s bloody sad, and I am not looking forward to my reality, meaning the crash of it all.

  16. Robert Atack says:

    16/05/17
    Great article
    Most of the world is talking in gobbly goop,
    eg 2 of the latest
    Bashar Al Assad is killing up to 50 prisoners per day, hence the on site crematorium
    An ‘anonymous’ insider says Trump gave info to Lavrov. WTF how can anything said by an ‘anonymous” source be on our news, David Bowie got it right “This is America”

    And really most people are happy listening to this kind of BS, or similar from every politician …… especially the ones that back or refuse to ‘out’ kiwisaver, as the scam it is (which is all of them). And that goes for all MSM commentators, Gareth Morgan, all investment banker/brokers. They are all fing lying.

    It is no wonder people are killing themselves, with such a massive divide between the haves and nots, and maybe all the free porn placing unexpected ‘hope’ on young people???
    People get suicidal when the BS bubble they have been sold bursts or never materializes.
    Who can we trust? Nearly everyone is lying, well actually most are just ignorant and are mouthing ‘hopes’, not having any grasp on reality.
    A fine example are the people who encourage others to vote, as if there is a choice, and as if voting for any of the dickheads would change anything?

    And bugger it all, what we are seeing is a result of overpopulation, the more of us there are, the less significant an individual, or 1,000 of them become.
    As long as Lawyers can charge $390+ per hour, and we are moving up wards of 1,000 cars via truck per day, everything is sweet.
    Just wait for the depression.
    It’s bloody sad, and I am not looking forward to my reality, meaning the crash of it all.

  17. Kim dandy says:

    If I were a National MP I would be resigning ‘in shame’ of such poor policy that helps no one.
    1000 deaths a year is a heavy burden for any country.

  18. Jack Ramaka says:

    I wonder how much the reports cost and who wrote them.

    Any chance of getting hold of a copy ?

  19. bob says:

    Like all reports into suicide this remains aspirational not inspirational and totally lacks any objective ideas to prevent suicide.
    The introduction of natural gas into the UK in the sixties halved their suicide rate by removing availability to lethal coal gas, the USA has a high rate due to the universal availabillity of hand guns.
    Here in christchurch we have had no deaths from jumping from buildings since the earthquakes because the means were removed, untill last week soon after the opening of a new parking building.Parking buildings are a favoured means of suicide because they are open to the public, have open access sides and roof, surely we can have regulations to ensure the sides are enclosed and the roof fenced. Paracetamol would be the most used drug in suicide attempts but we sell it in bulk in supermarkets, service stations and dairies and even now in dispersable forms making them even more dangerous, a simple matter to make them pharmacy only medication.
    I have had a long career working in mental health and have known countless people who have experimented with suicide, unfortunately men always seem to try the most lethal where the is no changing of the mind.

  20. Philj says:

    Well Done Mike. Your action to speak out has perked up my mood. Keep it up. Much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *