Suicide by cop

file image (not of incident)

file image (not of incident)

Police have shot and killed a man who confronted them with a firearm during Thames today.

Officers were called about midday to the scene “where there was a significant threat of violence”, police said in a statement tonight.

Police said they learned a firearm was involved and the Armed Offenders Squad and the Police Negotiation Team were deployed. Read more »

Where is the public interest in knowing the details of a suicide?

If a coroner decides that a death is suicide, the only information that can be made public is the person’s name, job and address and the fact that the death was self-inflicted.

Under the proposed reforms, the media will be able to report a death as a “suspected suicide” before a coroner’s inquiry is completed, if the facts support that conclusion.

The Chief Coroner will be able to grant an exemption for a suicide to be reported on if satisfied that the risk of copycat behaviour is small and is outweighed by the public interest.

Media Freedom Committee member Clive Lind said that unlike the tabloid press overseas, New Zealand media had generally been responsible in reporting on suicide.

He said the changes were “a step forward” but added that if the facts clearly showed a death was suicide, reporters should not have to call it “suspected”. This was the practice in most other similar jurisdictions.

Media Freedom Committee member Clive Lind isn’t allowing for the serious erosion taking place in our media.  Overseas media, for example, do not hound their governments for operational details on national security matters. Nor do they publish details of troop movements or photographs of special forces personnel where individuals are easily identified.   Read more »


Lufthansa has some ‘splaining to do

 Photograph: Michael Mueller/AP

Photograph: Michael Mueller/AP

The Germanwings co-pilot said to have deliberately crashed his plane with 149 others aboard into the French Alps reportedly suffered serious depression six years ago.

Andreas Lubitz sought psychiatric help for “a bout of heavy depression” in 2009 and was still getting assistance from doctors, German daily Bild reported on Friday, quoting documents from Germany’s air transport regulator Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA). Read more »

Mike King discusses his depression

I first met Mike King when he invited me as a guest on the Nutter’s Club…that night he threw me a curve ball…he asked me to fill in for him for 4 weeks as host.

I was thrown in the deep end, but it was an opportunity that I really appreciated. I still appreciate the trust he passed to me to take over his show for a few weeks when we had only really just met

It is no secret that Mike suffers depression…and we are lucky that he shares his trials and tribulations in defeating this evil affliction.

Mike covers many of the same things that I deal with on a day to day basis.

Also have a listen to him talk to Duncan Garner about this post from Facebook.

I have a confession to make, for the last few months I have been struggling with depression. At first I thought I was just having a few bad days and it would pass, but as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months things got worse. But here’s the thing, instead of recognising I had a problem, I thought everybody else was the problem. That’s the nature of depression. When you’re in it, it overwhelms you. Little by little it takes over, it dominates and then finally it suffocates you. I became highly sensitive and very negative. Other people’s looks and comments would be misinterpreted which led to frustration and anger, followed by regret, remorse and inevitably back to anger. A vicious cycle that kept repeating itself day in day out. And still I didn’t think I had a problem, “surely it was everyone else’s fault, after all I’m the one who’s getting hurt” was my reasoning. To cope I threw myself into my mahi, and when I wasn’t working I was painting, anything to keep myself busy, anything to stop that annoying voice in my head telling me I was useless.

The turning point came 4 weeks ago in Dunedin while I was filming a tv show with my good friend Dale Husband. Dale is one of those beautiful souls who sees the good in everything and everyone and likes nothing more than brightening people’s days with a kind word. Anyway we were standing in the Octagon getting ready for another full on day of filming when Dale started charming a group of locals and making them laugh. The first thought that popped in my head when I heard them was “oh for f•*k sake will you shut up! No one can be that happy all the time, surely?”
And that’s when the penny dropped. Within a millisecond of that thought popping in my head I said out loud to myself “you’ve got a problem and you need to get it sorted!”.

This was followed by the weirdest feeling in the world. On the one hand the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders as I took ownership of my situation. On the other hand I was overcome with emotion and guilt when I realised what a nightmare I must have put my loved ones through while fighting my demons. I remember seeing the apprehension in Jo’s eyes when I got back to the motel that night obviously wondering which Mike would be walking in the door and the relief when I asked her to make an appointment for me with the doctor “because I think I’ve got my depression back”. That’s when she hugged me and said “that’s a really good idea babe” but I knew in her head she was saying “thank f•*k for that” and rightly so.

Read more »

Easy to say, harder to do

Stop your kids from committing suicide…

A visiting global expert on teenage health is giving New Zealand a glowing report card, with one exception – our high youth suicide rate.

UN advisor Professor Robert Blum says fewer Kiwi teens are drink driving and smoking, but parents and teachers need to make them feel better connected.

Coasting through summer is a teenage rite of passage, but adolescence has its ups and downs.

Prof Blum is impressed with New Zealand’s approach, but says our high youth suicide rate is not good enough. Last year alone, 46 teenagers aged between 15 and 19 took their own lives. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images. A photo titled 'Me As Al Jolson', from an album belonging to Hitler's companion Eva Braun (1912 - 1945), depicting her in blackface as American actor Al Jolson in 'The Jazz Singer', Munich, Germany, 1937. Braun, enjoyed private parties with friends and liked to watch American films such as 'Gone with the Wind'.

Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.
A photo titled ‘Me As Al Jolson’, from an album belonging to Hitler’s companion Eva Braun (1912 – 1945), depicting her in blackface as American actor Al Jolson in ‘The Jazz Singer’, Munich, Germany, 1937. Braun, enjoyed private parties with friends and liked to watch American films such as ‘Gone with the Wind’.

Eva Braun

Read more »

Why would anyone tell someone else to kill themselves?

I’ve been at the receiving end of death threats and pressure to take my own life myself.

People telling you to go top yourself, or expressing some hope you might do them a favour.

Not sure what kind of mindset people have  that deliberately put pressure on someone in the hope they will take their own lives.

Mike King, New Zealand’s other mental health ambassador has been having his share too. Read more »

29 year old with brain cancer and will die on Nov 1

This story of a 29 year old woman with incurable brain cancer who doesn’t want to die in a debilitating awful manner.

She is incredibly brave, but choosing to die her way and not in a way limited by awful laws that prevent assisted suicide.

Having seen someone I love die slowly and horribly because of cancer I wish, really wish our country would change the law regarding euthanasia.

It disgusted me when Maryan Street pulled her bill from parliament after it was draw so as help the Labour party. Showed how much she actually cared.

I don’t know anyone who has watched someone die slowly and painfully who is opposed to euthanasia.

Brittany Maynard will die on November 1 – in her bedroom, with her favourite song playing and her mother and husband at her side.

The 29-year-old California woman began experiencing terrible headaches soon after her wedding.

She was diagnosed in January with a glioblastoma brain tumour and was later told by doctors she had six months to live.  Read more »

IRD are driving people to an early grave

There is some irony with the government looking to crack down on pay-day loan outfits, repo men, and dodgy lending practices where the debt continues even after repossession, while at the same time being in charge of a tax department that  drives people to take their own lives

Taxpayers, some facing crippling penalties, are increasingly threatening to harm themselves when dealing with the taxman.

According to official Inland Revenue figures, the number of its clients making “self-harm” threats in the past five years has nearly tripled.

There was a six-fold increase in offensive behaviour towards staff and the amount of money outstanding on child support rose by more than $1 million.

The department is enlisting Lifeline to look at how it deals with distressed callers and staff facing abuse.

The figures do show a positive – online compliments have more than tripled in five years.

Inland Revenue commissioner’s correspondence manager, Christina Goodall, said the leap in self-harm figures could be because of “increased awareness” among staff.

Could.  On the other hand it could also be because of inhumane practices that slowly squeezes the oxygen out of people where they no longer see a future worth being part of.   Once those penalties start to accumulate, things start to look pretty dire.   Read more »


Depression and suicide: Sir John did us all a big favour

John Kirwan became the public face of depression, and we all owe him for it

If we can acknowledge that depression is not a weakness and suicide is not an option, we can change the world.

Those were Sir John Kirwan’s rousing words to a large audience gathered for the Westpac-sponsored ambassador’s depression and mental health talk in Alexandra yesterday.

Kirwan said attitudes to mental ill-health were changing, but not fast enough.

“Suicide is the end of an illness; it’s a tragedy and it leaves devastation in its wake.”

Knighted in 2012 for his services to mental health and rugby, the former All Black said his mission was to push for more government-funded campaigns, such as suicide prevention advertisements, to spread the message that death by suicide was unacceptable

Long time readers will know the Whaleoil crew have their own struggles with depression.  For those of you who think we just need to snap out of it, be glad you don’t know what it is like.  Once it grabs hold of your thinking, your brain starts to lie to you, and you are willing to listen.   Read more »