3 Dec 2010

Young suicide numbers rise in South Auckland

9:24 am on 3 December 2010

A psychiatrist specialising in mental health among young people says 10 young Pacific Islanders killed themselves last month in South Auckland.

Siale Foliaki who heads the child and youth mental health service at Counties-Manukau District Health Board predicts that 130 Pacific Island young people will kill themselves this year.

Dr Foliaki says research is needed to determine what is causing the increase.

Otago University Medical School researcher Karlo Mila-Schaaf says young Pacific Island people are more likely to commit suicide than their European counterparts.

Dr Mila-Schaaf says mortality data shows more Islanders aged between 15 and 25, die from suicide than any other cause.

He says more Pacific men complete suicide attempts, but the number of women is rising.

Dr Foliaki says the family of a 10 year old who died recently, was told by several Government agences to ring 0800 numbers if worried about their other children.

But Massey University Pasifika director Sitaleki Finau says 0800 numbers are no use to people who like to talk face to face.