Jacinda Ardern calls us to address New Zealand's alarming suicide rate

Jono Ben & Sharyn 24/08/2018

Today new stats showed New Zealand's suicide rate is the highest it's been since records began with 668 taking their own lives in the past year.

It's the fourth year in a row that the number has increased and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is doing her part to bring awareness to the devastating stats.

Jacinda approached Jono, Ben & Sharyn to address the new stats and encourage New Zealanders to look out for one an other.

Speaking to the show, Jacinda said:

"You know this idea of 'toughing it out' it's just totally the wrong approach. We need to change the way we approach our mental health in NZ."

Jacinda continued with:

"Everyone in NZ will know someone who has had this situation and I think that's why it's such a heightened issue for us because immediately you hear those numbers and you have a story."

"It's our job in government to make sure those services are there and we do need to up our game there."

While holding back her tears, Sharyn also talked about her own experiences with Anxiety and depression saying:

"It's really amazing that you're having these conversations because knowledge is power and the more that we are open to talk about it and our Prime Minister to set that example is amazing."

Last year Jono  spoke about mental illness during a tearful tribute to a friend who had taking their own life saying:

"If you are suffering a mental illness, no one thinks less of you", "Just talk about it"

Watch the full video above and If you feel you need help dealing with depression or a difficult time in your life, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865(0508 TAUTOKO). Both are available 24/7.