Friday, September 4, 2009

our country - highest youth suicide rate in OECD - shame

We really do need to front up to this issue. It is our shame.

"New Zealand is spending considerably less on child welfare than other OECD countries, a report from the organisation says.

The report, Doing Better for Children, was the first time the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development had reported on the wellbeing of children in its 30 member countries.

It identified New Zealand's biggest shortfall as its limited spending on children under the age of 5, which it said was less than half the average among OECD nations.

New Zealand was also struggling in dealing with child health.

It had the highest youth suicide rate in the OECD and an above-average child mortality rate.

Children lived in poor conditions, average family incomes were low by OECD standards and child poverty rates were high.

New Zealand children had high rates of educational achievement, but the gap between top and bottom performers was large."

Just have a wee think about that - our youth kill themselves more than ANY other OECD country. Whatever we are doing is not working. Are we going to keep blundering along without fronting up.

I am of the conclusion that creating community is actually the answer to most, if not all of our problems, including this one.

As Tariana Turia says, "The piece meal approach we have taken to date has failed", she said. "Without an approach like whanau ora we will continue to fail. Investing in our whanau is an investment in our future. If we don't do that then we not only doom them to a miserable future but we create a greater problem for us all in the future."

What hope are we offering our young people? What can we do differently?

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