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Pot-smoking teens less likely to finish high school

Laura Goodall posted in on September 11th, 2014.

Frequent teenage cannabis use is linked with less educational achievement and other problems later in life, according to New Zealand and Australian research. Individuals who are daily users of cannabis before age 17 are less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared with those who have never used the drug, new research published […]

Teen cannabis use and poor life outcomes – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on September 10th, 2014.

Frequent teenage cannabis use is linked with less educational achievement and other problems later in life, according to new New Zealand and Australian research. Individuals who are daily users of cannabis before age 17 are less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared with those who have never used the drug, new […]

High antidepressant dose linked to self-harm – experts respond

Peter Griffin posted in on April 29th, 2014.

A study published today in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that the risk for deliberate self harm doubles when depressed young people start an antidepressant treatment regime with higher-than-usual doses. The study saw Harvard University researchers look at health records of 162,625 privately insured people between the ages of 10 and 64, who were treated […]

A blood test for suicide risk? – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on August 21st, 2013.

Researchers have identified series of blood biomarkers that they believe may help to identify individuals at risk of attempting suicide, but independent experts are cautious about over-interpreting this preliminary study. In a study published this week in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the US researchers said the biomarkers — certain RNA molecules —  were found at […]

Shooting in the US state of Connecticut – Expert response

John Kerr posted in on December 18th, 2012.

The shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has left many wondering how such an event could happen. The tragedy has led to public debate not only on gun controls but also access to mental health services. Our colleagues at the UK SMC collected the following expert commentary. […]

Recession increased UK suicides – expert responds

John Kerr posted in on August 15th, 2012.

New research suggests that over 1000 people have committed suicide due to the 2008-2010 economic recession in the UK Drawing on national health and unemployment databases, UK researchers have calculated the number of excess suicides attributable to the financial crisis by looking at the total number which were over and above historical trends. Their research […]

Many perinatal and maternal deaths avoidable – report

John Kerr posted in on June 14th, 2012.

A new report reviewing the leading causes of death among mothers and children in New Zealand has highlighted maternal suicide during, or shortly after, pregnancy as a tragedy that needs to be addressed. The annual report of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC) shows suicide continues to be the leading cause of maternal […]

NZ ranks poorly in adolescent mortality and suicide – study

John Kerr posted in on April 26th, 2012.

Leading medical journal The Lancet has published a special series of articles focusing on adolescent health, including an international comparison of health and mortality data which highlights New Zealand’s poor ranking in youth suicide and death statistics. The 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population Development, which has an adolescent health theme takes […]

Govt boosts youth spending to increase resilience of teens

Kent posted in on April 4th, 2012.

Government proposals to spend $62 million on mental health issues among the nation’s young people includes money budgeted for schools, online, in communities and in the health system. Prime Minister John Key told the University Youth Health and  Wellbeing Symposium in Wellington on April 4 that the nation’s  youth mental health system had some weaknesses […]

Lower drinking age linked to higher longterm harm

Kent posted in on November 16th, 2011.

American researchers investigating the longterm impacts of a lower legal drinking age in some US states say the evidence points to higher risk of serious harm including suicide and homicide, when the drinking age is lower.   Their study — released online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research — looked at data gathered […]

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