The current NZ Herald article series on suicide called "Break the Silence" took me by surprise last week. It seems Kamo High School, Whangarei, had been rocked in 2012 by two suicides from the same classroom. I reserve the right to blog about this because it was indeed the very same High School I attended for all my secondary days. It was here that a pupil in my older sister class committed suicide, and here that my good school mate attended and went on later to commit suicide as a young father.
It is almost incomprehensible that suicide rates nationally have remained flat, unchanging over the last two decades, with a survey finding a massive 1 in 20 high school students had attempted suicide in the past 12 months.
Careful Herald investigation found the official Ministry resource kit for schools called Preventing and Responding to Suicide had broken web links and was under review. Indeed schools had been advised against using the word 'suicide' and instead advice is to refer to such events as 'sudden deaths'.
Maybe I should take some pride in the fact that at least now Kamo High School is showing showing courage by getting involved in a national conversation on the subject. I attended there over 50 years ago, and it seems little has changed. Confusion reigns.
My two pennies contribution would be that until we really come to grips with such concepts as the true nature of man, finding purpose of life, the role of feelings, learn to differentiate between values and virtues, and so on, then we will probably continue to suffer the worlds highest youth suicide rate, twice that of even USA.