The New Zealand Herald is running a special series about youth suicide called Break The Silence. It will run for approximately five weeks from July 4.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

The New Zealand Herald is running a special series about youth suicide called Break The Silence. It will run for approximately five weeks from July 4.

WHY ARE YOU DOING IT?

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New Zealand has the second worst youth suicide rate (25 and under) in the developed world. It has the worst teen suicide rate (15-19). The number of young people killing themselves has remained largely unchanged for about two decades. There is no denying the amount of effort that has gone into reducing New Zealand's suicide rate, but we believe it's time for a national conversation about our approach and whether it's enough.

WHAT'S IN THE SERIES?

It's driven by a series of investigations that cover such topics as how schools handle youth suicide and the prevalence of self-harm. We will be seeking, wherever possible, to highlight initiatives to bring down the death rate. We will be considering possible solutions from here and overseas. We will be talking to experts from every part of the debate - educators, psychologists, counsellors, politicians, the families of those who have died and survivors. We will be running a series of first-person pieces so people involved can express themselves in their own words.

WON'T SOME READERS FIND THIS UPSETTING?

We know that many New Zealanders have been touched by suicide and mental health problems - be it youth suicide or suicide generally. Before the series began we ran a piece on our digital sites and in print letting people know it was coming. Each story will have a warning about distressing content on it. Each story will carry helpline numbers.

HOW ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO COVER THIS?

We do not profess to be experts but we have spoken to many, many people who are. We have spent more than six months researching this series and have done everything we can to be as considered as possible. We have spoken to politicians as senior as Education Minister Nikki Kaye and figures as influential as former chief coroner Neil MacLean. Some people think media shouldn't cover this issue. Some people think talking about it can destigmatise mental illness and youth suicide. We aim to present all sides of the debate.

CAN I GIVE FEEDBACK?

Definitely. You can send an email to newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz.

WHAT IF I, OR SOMEONE I KNOW, NEEDS 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 (available 24/7)
  • SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666