Young New Zealand women have the highest suicide rate in the OECD, figures released today show.
New Zealand women, aged 15-24, had the most number of suicides among 29 OECD member countries, followed by Japan and Finland, in 2008 - the latest figures available.
New Zealand males aged 15-24 had the third highest suicide rate in the OECD, behind Iceland and Finland.
The stats were released today by the Mental Health Commission in a report on mental health and addiction in New Zealand.
The commission said there were 11.2 suicide deaths per 100,000 New Zealanders in 2008, down from 15.1 in 1998 -- placing the country toward towards the middle of the OECD table.
Chair commissioner Dr Lynne Lane said this was the first time the commission had brought together key statistics on mental health and addiction
She said positive progress had been made in some areas but drew on the female suicide rate as a negative example.
The report said 20.7 percent of New Zealand adults experienced a mental illness in a 12-month period.
The report also looked at addiction statistics and found 54 percent of males aged between 18-24 had a potentially hazardous drinking pattern in 2006/2007.