Why that title? Well suicide is a car crash. It's messy, it has victims, it has enduring repercussions and it's preventable.
Let's be honest. We have spent as a country over the past 20 years hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe in the Millions) on Road Safety campaigns to get the death and injury toll down and it has worked. The death rate now is under half that of 15 years ago yet there are more people on the road. So the question needing begging to be asked is why not apply the same funding and logic to the increasing suicide rate? Funding preventative measures and education are paramount in the nations desire to not only get the suicide rate down, but to try and prevent it from happening in the first place. It's fair to say that too many young people especially have to deal with suicide, be it themselves, a family member or a peer. And youth are the most at risk group for this insidious aberration that is the choice to die.
So where to start? It's about building a better society. The Road toll campaigns set out to improve quality of life for most New Zealanders. The Like Minds Like Mine campaign set out to make people more aware that suffering a mental illness is not a millstone around societies neck. So why not Suicide Prevention? What is holding back the decision makers? Surely Head Coroner MacLeans comment on the matter a few years back should have opened the doors to not only better systems for reporting, but given the impetus for society and government to tackle this problem head on, albeit gently to start with?
The current ads for drunk driving decisions (You know I can't eat your ghost chips - Spoon) set at youth level must be having an impact so why can't equally intuitive target advertising be set in place for youth now so suicide prevention is the key and suicide is not the result? I'd wager the work Mike King and The Key to Life Charitable Trust are tackling is making inroads, but that campaign needs to be extended across the country with passionate caring people involved, not bookworms and bureaucrats.
The decision is ours Kiwis. Do we stand up and educate, change, and impress, or do we live with the burgeoning status quo? To support this missive, retweet, if you want to help (volunteer, donate) go to Facebook and look up The Key To Life Charitable Trust and have your say. Stand up and be counted, lower suicide rates, heck even campaign to set in place zero tolerance. Too many lives are lost and many more are affected by this situation and that's not right.