Suicidal behaviours among adolescents in Aotearoa:
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Suicidal behaviours among adolescents in Aotearoa: data from the Youth2000 series. Dr Pete Watson and Dr Sarah Fortune on behalf of The Adolescent Health Research Group, The University of Auckland. Aim.

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Dr pete watson and dr sarah fortune on behalf of

Suicidal behaviours among adolescents in Aotearoa:

data from the Youth2000 series

Dr Pete Watson and Dr Sarah Fortuneon behalf of

The Adolescent Health Research Group, The University of Auckland


Dr pete watson and dr sarah fortune on behalf of

Aim

To provide detailed information about suicidal behaviours among the current generation of school students in New Zealand


Youth2000 survey series

Youth2000 Survey Series

  • Designed and carried out by the Adolescent Health Research Group

  • Large, cross-sectional anonymous, self-report survey

  • Conducted in 2001 and 2007


Survey similarities and differences

Survey similarities and differences

  • 2007

  • Changes, new issues

  • Nutrition & physical wellbeing

  • Gambling & substance use

  • Community

  • School climate

2001 & 2007

  • Branching design

  • Identity & ethnicity

  • Home

  • School

  • Activities

  • Substance use

  • Sexuality

  • Mood and wellbeing

  • Community & spirituality


Response rates

Response rates

Gender


Participants by ethnic group 2007

Participants by Ethnic group 2007


Serious suicidal thoughts 2007

Serious suicidal thoughts 2007

  • 14% reported serious suicidal thoughts in past 12 months

  • Gender differences prominent

  • Can’t compare with 2001


Serious suicide thoughts by ethnicity 2007

Serious suicide thoughts by ethnicity 2007


Suicide plans 2001 2007

Suicide plans 2001 & 2007

  • 8.6% students reported a suicide plan in the previous year

  • Females nearly twice as likely as males (11.5% vs. 6.1%)

  • Down from 2001 (10%, 95% CI, 9.1%, 10.9%) to 8.6% (95% CI 7.8%, 9.4%) in 2007


Suicide plan by ethnicity 2001 2007

Suicide plan by ethnicity 2001 & 2007


Suicide attempts 2001 2007

Suicide attempts 2001 & 2007

  • 4.7% reported attempted suicide in previous 12 months

  • Female students twice as likely as males (6.7% vs. 2.9)

  • More common in low decile compared with high decile schools (6.8% vs. 3.6%)

  • Nearly one quarter of students who reported a suicide attempt in 2007 did not report serious suicidal thoughts

  • Decrease from 7.8% (95% CI 7.0%, 8.7%) to 4.7% (95% CI 4.1%, 5.3%) in 2007


Suicide attempts by ethnicity 2001 and 2007

Suicide attempts by ethnicity 2001 and 2007


Exposure to suicide attempts among friends and family whanau 2001 2007

Exposure to suicide attempts among friends and family/whanau 2001 & 2007

  • 14.7% of all students reported exposure

  • Females more likely (19.8% vs. 10.2%)

  • Similar across the two surveys (2001: 16.9%, 95 CI 15.6%, 18.3% and 2007 14.7%, 95% CI 13.1%, 16.2%).


Exposure to suicide attempts by ethnicity 2001 2007

Exposure to suicide attempts by ethnicity 2001 & 2007


Depressive symptoms

Depressive Symptoms

  • RADS-SF questionnaire

  • One in ten students report significant depressive symptoms

  • Females more likely than males

  • Decrease from 12.4% (95% CI 11.5%, 13.3%) in 2001 to 10.6% (95% CI 9.7%, 11.4%) in 2007


Depressive symptoms 2001 2007

Depressive Symptoms 2001 & 2007


Protective factors mental and emotional wellbeing 2007

Protective factors – mental and emotional wellbeing 2007

  • Half of students rate themselves as either good or excellent

  • Males were more likely to report excellent well-being than females (22.6% vs. 13.9%).


Mental and emotional wellbeing by ethnicity 2007

Mental and emotional wellbeing by ethnicity 2007


Positive relationship with family whanau 2001 2007

Positive relationship with family/whanau 2001 & 2007

  • Majority of students have at least parent who cares a lot about them (90.3%)

  • Decreased slightly since 2001 (92.7, 95% CI 92.0%, 93.4%) to 90.3% (95% CI 89.6%, 91.1%)


Safety at school 2001 2007

Safety at school 2001 & 2007

  • Five in every six students feel safe in school all or most of the time

  • Increases with age but similar across gender and geography

  • Fewer students (78.1%, 95% CI 76.2%, 80.0%) reported feeling safe in school compared with 83.5% in 2007 (95% CI 81.7%, 85.3%)


Access to health services 2007

Access to health services 2007

  • 16.5% seen health professional for emotional worries in last 12 months

  • More females than males (22.3% vs. 11.5%)

  • Higher help seeking among Maori and Pacific students


Seen health professional for emotional worries in last 12 months 2007

Seen health professional for emotional worries in last 12 months 2007


Conclusions and reflections

Conclusions and reflections

  • Rates of suicidal behaviours among school students remain high and concerning, although they appear to have reduced since 2001

  • Suicide prevention initiatives continue to have a place in NZ and should be tailored

  • Nearly one quarter of students who reported a suicide attempt in 2007 did not report serious suicidal thoughts

    • enhancing problem solving skills

    • reducing access to means of suicide


Dr pete watson and dr sarah fortune on behalf of

  • Significant depressive symptoms

    • Good access to effective treatment

    • Long term investment in depression prevention

  • Friends and whanau who are worried about someone close to them need to know how to contact health-care providers

  • Healthcare providers provide a youth-friendly approach.


Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

  • Young people who participated in this study and their family/whanau.

  • Youth’07 project team.

  • Youth’07 project funded by the

    • Health Research Council of New Zealand (grant 05/216)

    • Department of Labour

    • Families Commission

    • Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand

    • Sport and Recreation New Zealand

    • Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand

    • Ministries of Youth Development, Justice, Health and Te PuniKokiri.

  • Support for the electronic communication of the Youth’07 project was provided by Vodafone New Zealand.


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