New stats show NZ is the Youth suicide capital of the world – where is the reaction?

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New stats out show that we are the youth suicide capital of the world, this on top of our national suicide rate which is also one of the worst in the developed world.

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So where’s the public outrage?

Where’s the reaction?

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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’.

You saw it last week with Judith Collins when she claimed poverty was a parental issue. This far right spite was perfectly articulated by Stuff columnist, Martyn Van Beynen, with this nasty bit of hate speech. Despite all the evidence that points to Government policy being the biggest decider in poverty, we love the lies because they don’t make us feel like we have an obligation to our fellow New Zealanders.

Last week the Headlines were dominated by the AA warning drivers that we have almost reached last years road toll in October. That’s just over 200 deaths. Our suicide rate is over 500.

No headlines for that.

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 $1.8billion ‘surplus’ and reinvested it into Suicide prevention?

14 COMMENTS

  1. ‘So where’s the public outrage?’

    Stockholm syndrome?

    Apathy?

    Manipulation and lies [by the government]?

    Exhaustion?

    Recognition that whatever we say or do, ‘the machine’ will rumble on, crushing everything in its path?

    • Yes to all the above..but maybe one of the issues is saying ‘we have the highest suicide rate in the world’.
      Our rate is appalling and our mental health services in tatters…but no one really believes these comparative statistics.
      America doesn’t even keep track of the number of citizens that are sumilary executed in the middle of the street for goodness sakes. And we could sit around for hours discussing their imaginary employment/unemployment stats.

      The UK is one country singled out for serious underreporting of suicides.
      http://www.newswise.com/articles/under-reported-suicides-hiding-or-compounding-the-tragedy

      So instead of comparing ourselves to others with these click bait headlines, which at the end of the day are quite meaningless, we just need to have honest reporting of the issues.

  2. Our youth have been done over:

    1. Houses are impossibly priced for young married couples to start a life and family.
    1a. The housing market has been turned into a speculator’s casino paradise.

    2.The huge burden of paying of student loans even before starting out on life.

    3.Secure dependable work long gone and replaced with casualisation and minimal if not no employment security rights.

    3. No unemployment security young people are bullied of the benefit any which way until they take and sh*t job going just to get some peace.

    4. a joyless culture centered around making money, rugby and doing better than the other bloke.Plus media infotainment and celebrity worship.
    4a. Selfishness and individualism making separation into a virtue.

    5. Slaves to madly inflated mortgages, mortgage slaves for life or to grasping greedy rentiers exploiting them every which way in miserable run down rented accommodation.

    6. A feeling and perception of having no future worth having.

    7. A constant mirage of success reinforcing your failure.

    Why struggle the rest of your life with this sh*t deal? 🙁

    Many emigrate those that can’t mostly struggle on.

    Those that suicide are sacrifices to the cruel God Market our current economic religion which is 100% more infallible than the Pope could ever be 🙁

  3. Now the Natz are going to fix everything by building more prisons at a huge cost. Funny how they can’t find the money to do anything positive to alleviate our burgeoning neolib inspired social problems.
    Incredible.

  4. Van Beynen is an aloof, closeted piece of work.

    Calls himself a Catholic but he appears to have dumped the Mercy tradition in the gutter somewhere along the way.

  5. My message to young people thinking of killing themselves.
    Don’t to it.
    Kill capitalism instead.
    Capitalism is one giant suicide machine.
    It would prefer it if we made it easy for them and killed ourselves.
    If you do it you are one less enemy that has to be surveilled and repressed for rejecting life under capitalism.
    Don’t give the bastards the satisfaction.
    Our hope is in our numbers and our intelligence to be able to overcome the power of the capitalist state.
    Until we can do that we have to stop our youth from taking their lives!
    We can only do that if we start building socialism now as the alternative that gives us that hope of human survival.
    Remember, live for socialism now!

    • +100 Dave Brown…turn the anger and despair not inwards on oneself but outwards and work for social change

      ….there are lots of books in the library about the early socialists of last century

  6. Blocked again. I’m gonna change my name.
    WHAT the above nothingness got thru? Why?

    [Helena, you are not blocked. If you were, this post could not appear. – ScarletMod]

    • Thank you ScarletMod. I did wonder. We need to take this blog by Martyn very seriously and all of us must take action to turn this around. We are all being poisoned by the way our society has been set up. We are determinedly being set into moulds. We are taught that we are born and thereafter a burden, educated to our ability, expected to work at anything whether we enjoy it or not and then die. Tow the line or land in jail. Die and go to heaven or hell. Our TV ads incessantly push wellness through Big Pharma drugs. The internet is full of info about cancer research being a money spinner. The “beauty” industry pushes Barbie Doll skeletal frames as the acceptable goal. The toys for kids are gadgets that eliminate imagination. Our TV programmes push out murder and death of either people, animals or fish. Those deaths not being enough, our government air drops tonnes of poisoned pellets onto the land and into the waters. Our national game has become so gladiatorial that Ancient Rome would have approved. We send a signal of our superiority to the opposition with the Haka with no handshake offered in friendship acknowledging that it is just a game. We applaud someone in the ring who can knock out another human being. And our politicians, whom we elect and think we can trust, take the bit between their teeth and eventually surrender their integrity and decency becoming puffed up egotistic buffoons spinning the party talk and hiding truth that only Wikileaks can reveal.
      By accepting and allowing the status quo, I am responsible for the growing suicide rate … and so are you.

  7. I can already hear the cynical answer by some on the right, who may say, well, here we go, they make room for a needed immigrant, who can be “more productive” and brings less “baggage” (being mental illness and crisis).

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