UFC 234: Kiwi fighter Shane Young uses victory speech to address NZ suicide

Mixed martial arts fighter Shane Young has helped highlight the issue of youth suicide in New Zealand with his post-fight interview at UFC 234 in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old defeated American Austin Arnett by unanimous decision to improve his career record to 12 wins and four losses.

Afterwards, Young, who has battled depression, said he wanted to make a difference.

"The reason I got into this sport is so I can use this platform to try and spread some good in the world," he told a worldwide TV audience.

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"To everybody back there in Aotearoa - we have the highest youth suicide rate - and to all the kids suffering, I know what you're going through. Just reach out to somebody and talk."

"You can be strong by reaching out, use the people around you."

The suicide rate has increased in each of the last four years.

Between July 2017 and June 2018, the number of people who died by suspected suicide jumped to 668, up from 606 the previous year.

Where to find help and support:

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