The academic rigour of an affecting study of suicide is undermined by a simplistic conclusion

“I think – and I know it sounds melodramatic – that I might not make it this year,” 17-year-old New Zealand schoolgirl Victoria McLeod wrote in her journal at the start of 2014. “I know when I see those grades bold and black on a piece of paper, I will either jump for joy or jump off the top floor of this condo.”

Her grades came back first class but, on 14 April that year, she still jumped to her death from the 10-storey apartment block. Her devastated parents, Linda and Malcolm, have shared her diary with developmental psychologist and science writer Jesse Bering, in the hope they might help others make sense of the epidemic of apparently talented, healthy and blessed young people, with fulfilling lives beckoning, killing themselves.

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