Running on Empty reviews the incidence of youth suicide (14–25 years) since the 1980s in New Zealand, the cost of youth suicide to society, the incidence of mental health in young New Zealanders and the prescription of antidepressants to combat depression and anxiety in young people.
Despite the prescription of antidepressants to combat depression and suicide it appears that little headway has been made in reducing youth suicide rates in New Zealand since 1998. At that time youth suicide rates were 1:4 and in August 2019 they were 1:3.9 of the annual national total.
Scientific research on adverse reactions to antidepressants is reviewed along with a cost-effective analysis of this medical intervention. Alternative preventative strategies to combat youth suicide and a review of mental health and how it impacts on academic achievement are also presented.
“This is an important contribution to a matter of considerable public concern. Mr Vernall is to be commended for the time and effort he has put into it.”
Dr James Hollings – Head of Journalism, Massey University.
“Richard Vernall brings together the sobering data on suicide in New Zealand in this crisply crafted review. We are forced to conclude that the treatments currently on offer to individuals suffering from mental illness are simply not helping enough people and, in some cases, harming them. This information must reach the general public if we are ever going to tackle the exponentially rising numbers of people in our community with mental health issues. Every politician, health professional, and administrators in our district health boards needs to have this information brought to their attention. Only through facing the facts will we move forward as a community.”
Julia Rucklidge – Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Canterbury.