The latest findings from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows South Korea is the second highest country in the number of suicides among OECD member countries. South Korea has had that every year since 2007, except for 2010 and 2011, when it was ranked number one. Seoul promises to lower suicide rates among its residents.
Yang Doo-seok, assistant professor at the School of Social Policy Postgraduate at Gachon University, links South Korea's high suicide rate to the country's culture-driven following the Asian financial crisis 1997 and emphasizing the current economic conditions also contributed to the trend.
“The recent high unemployment rate among young people has also led to high suicide rates,” Yang said.
The professor noted that South Korean youths seem to neglect life, something he said increased the suicide rate.
“Adolescent suicide is on the rise,” Yang said, “In particular, You can access content that encourages self-harm or beautifies suicide in effect on the Internet, Instagram, video Youtube.”
Instagram search for Korean words on keywords “hurt yourself,” leads to a pop-up screen with messages; “Posting with words or tags in search often encourages behavior that can cause damage and even cause death. If you are going through something difficult, we want to help.” The user is then given the choice of seeking help or seeing a bloody picture or individual who appears to have a scar from a previous example of cutting off their body.
“Familiarizing yourself with self-injury can cause someone to commit suicide,” he said.
"Some people become suicidal after a long time,He said, "Slowly feeling more trapped and feeling more depressed. But other people might make this decision in a way that is quite impulsive after experiencing quite severe stress. ”
South Korean government response
The OECD report was prepared using data from 2016 (or newer) and is carried out by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Health Insurance Service. Found that 25,8 from 100.000 South Koreans commit suicide.
Overall the number of suicides among OECD members has decreased over the years 1985. But not until the year 2010 South Korea's level is starting to drop from the highest 33,8 per 100.000 in the year 2009.
For most of the, Yang said, South Korean people consider suicide as an individual problem, not a social issue. But “in Korea, suicide is caused by environmental reasons, social, and economics. Therefore, government, Public, and the private sector must work together and take action against it, He said.
The South Korean government launched a major action plan to reduce the suicide rate to 17 per 100.000 in the year 2022. Measures to achieve this goal were initiated by the Ministry of Welfare and Health and included several other offices, including the Government Policy Coordination Office, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and the Forest Service.
South Korea's National Suicide Prevention Plan will begin by gathering opinions from local government officials, experts, and evaluating international case information.
By using that data, the Korean government will form a network for high-risk groups and establish a local safety and welfare support system for those in need. other than that, the government intends to provide aftercare to those who try to take his own life.
The government plans to adjust health care initiatives based on age, gender, and socioeconomic status of those who need help.
After implemented, Seoul will evaluate the results of their plans and make adjustments as needed. other than that, inter-ministerial officials will consult with local officials and add “complementary steps” needed to meet their needs.
Oppression in cyberspace and suicide
Oppression in cyberspace, as elsewhere in various parts of the world, is a serious problem in South Korea and extends beyond the school grounds. In South Korea, "Mom Cafes" is an online community where mothers share information about the school, guru, and many more.
Recently, a kindergarten teacher commits suicide after receiving harassment messages from group members “Mom cafes”.
An anonymous member of the group accused the dead teacher of encouraging a student on a school trip. The original posting did not contain the teacher's name, but other members found out who the teacher was and posted his personal information online.
After three days a message from the member, the teacher committed suicide.
Prinstein explains how social stress such as intimidation can cause suicide.
Therefore, he said, it can be “very important and strong predictor for suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially among young people.”
With cyberbullying, Prinstein said the problem could multiply because it has a permanent nature that is not possessed by intimidation in the real world.