Warning: This article is about suicide and may be distressing for some readers.
The number of suicides in Hawke's Bay has reached its highest ever level, with 38 dying in the year to June 30.
That's nine more (31 per cent more) than the previous highest level since records began in 2007. Twenty-nine suicides were recorded in the same period in 2017/18.
The results, released as part of the of the annual provisional suicide statistics by the coroner on Monday, show a distressing national trend, with suicide rates increasing by 2.5 per cent.
In total, since 2007, 309 people have committed suicide in Hawke's Bay. When records began there were 16 for the year, a number that remains the lowest for the region.
Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall extended her condolences to the family's affected by suicide.
"We acknowledge the pain many communities are feeling as a result.
"The reasons people make this decision are numerous and depend on many factors: their early life experiences at home and at school, their employment status, their mental health, their economic and health status, their sense of belonging, their sense of purpose, their worldview and more."
"It's up to all of us to look out for our family, friends and neighbours – to ask how they're going and coping with pressures in life, and offer our support, to offer hope."
She was encouraged by suicide prevention initiatives taking place, conversations people are having and success stories of individuals who battled with suicidal thoughts but have come through stronger the other side.
"We mourn those who died by suicide, but for those listening who are in the midst of pain, suicide doesn't have to be how your story ends.
"The truth is there is always another option, there are people you can speak to, there's something more to live for."
Nationally, 685 people took their lives, compared to 668 the year before.
In particular there was an increase in Maori and Pacific Island suicide rates.
The Maori suicide rate increased from 142 to 169 deaths, and the Pacific Island rate increased from 23 to 34 deaths.
European rates dropped from 462 to 446 deaths.
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:
• 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (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 or TEXT 4202