The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, has released a discussion paper on New Zealand’s youth suicide rate.
Prepared in conjunction with departmental science advisors from Health, Education, Social Development and Justice, the paper reported on the multiple factors involved in youth suicide and discussed evidence-based approaches to prevention.
“What’s different about this report I guess is the topic,” Sir Peter told the NZ Herald. “It’s a topic that is an important one and it’s a bloody complicated situation. There are multiple factors and there are people who think they may know the answer, but the whole situation is much more complex.”
“There are an awful lot of arguments and an awful lot of failed approaches in youth suicide,” he said. “That’s why we’re emphasising we need to be very careful with any intervention we do.”
While there were no definitive solutions, Sir Peter suggested developing resilience in younger people, starting as young as primary school, and promoting mental health awareness.
The discussion paper was covered by local media, including:
NZ Herald: PM’s chief science adviser releases report on youth suicide
TVNZ: Youth suicide prevention needs to start in primary schools, says Chief Science Advisor
Stuff.co.nz: Youth suicide prevention starts with building resilience young – PM’s chief science advisor