SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — More than nine out of 10 people who took their own lives showed warning signs before their deaths, but most people around did not take note of them.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare released a report Sunday based on a meeting with 121 bereaved family members of the suicide victims who participated in a psychological autopsy interview.
A psychological autopsy is a method of systematic investigation that identifies the pattern of psychological behavior and changes in the victim’s behavior and verifies the specific cause of suicide.
The autopsy found that an average of 3.9 life-stress incidents – such as occupational stress and financial burden – per suicidal person had a sequential or complex effect on the suicide process.
Specifically, 84.5 percent of the suicide deaths were estimated to have resulted from mental health-related difficulties.
It has been confirmed that 68 percent of the suicide victims suffered from job-related stress, while 54.4 percent suffered from financial and family-related problems.
Analysis of the warning sign data of 391 people who participated in psychological autopsies between 2015 and 2018 found that the majority (361 or 92.3 percent) showed warning signs of suicide.
However, 77 percent of the signs were not recognized by their peers as warning signs.
A warning sign of suicide is an indicator that a suicide victim is thinking of suicide or intends to commit suicide.
Suicide victims show changes in diet, sleep pattern and/or emotion, and there could also be symptoms of lethargy and social phobia.
Furthermore, the victims often talk about or mention suicide, murder and death. They also clean up or arrange their belongings.
An in-depth analysis of the timing of the warning signals confirmed that the observed rate was high at the point of near death, or “within three months before death.”
“In particular, warning signals such as clearing up the surroundings are more likely to appear within a week of death,” said Jang Young-jin, an official at the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
She added that “observing such warning signals requires more attention and active response from peers.”
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)