Today, the New Zealand Herald starts a special series on youth suicide.

New Zealand has the second worst youth (25 and under) suicide rate in the developed world and the worst teen (15-19) suicide rate. The annual rates have remained largely unchanged for around two decades.

We want to encourage people who need help to ask for it; and we want to let them know there is hope. We believe it is time for a national conversation about the matter. Are we doing enough to help? Are we doing the right things? We do not profess to be experts, but we have spoken to many people who are, from all sectors of the debate, during six months of research.

Of course, many New Zealanders have been touched by suicide. The issue will be very raw for many of our readers. Throughout the series we will cover many aspects of this issue that could be confronting or upsetting.

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We wanted to let our readers know the series was starting so they could choose to take care around the subject.

The series is called Break The Silence and stories from it will be clearly marked.

Where to get help:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757