Edge host Dom Harvey makes emotional appeal over 'alarming' NZ suicide statistics

Radio host Dom Harvey has made an impassioned plea to Kiwis battling mental health issues, after recent statistics revealed record-breaking suicide rates in New Zealand.

According to figures released by the Chief Coroner on Monday, 685 people took their own lives in the past year - a number The Edge Breakfast host noted was "just about double the road toll". 

"The problem in New Zealand seems to be getting worse, not better," Harvey told listeners on Tuesday.

"Absolutely alarming stats."

An increase of 17 deaths on last year's results revealed a rise in youth suicide and an increase in the suicide rate among Māori and Pacific people.

Harvey also noted those who died by suicide were 68 percent male. While the broadcaster admitted "none of us know the answer," he did have a message for anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts.

"You need to know that people love you," he said.

"If you decided to do something like this, it is a very permanent decision you're making for what is likely to be a temporary problem in the big scheme of your life.

"You need to know, even if you hate yourself, the hole you will leave in other people's lives will be a massive, massive crater."

Harvey, along with co-hosts Megan Annear and Clinton Randell, encouraged listeners to reach out to friends and family, along with organisations like Lifeline and Voices of Hope.

"Something needs to be done, that figure is absolutely unacceptable," Harvey concluded.

"It is a tragedy. There's no other word for it." 

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