SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – As charcoal is often used to commit suicide, a local government, charcoal manufacturers and retailers joined forces to promote a campaign to use the products for the proper purposes.
Gyeonggi Province signed an MoU on Sept. 8 with Daemyeong Charcoal and Korea Supermarket Cooperative Fedeeration to hold a “Life Loving Campaign to Sell and Use Charcoal Properly” in commemoration of the World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and Suicide Prevention Week (September 7 -11).
With the campaign slogan, “Little attention can save a life,” Daemyeong Charcoal, the only charcoal product manufacturer in the province, will print a catchphrase and counseling phone number to prevent suicide on its packaging. Supermarket employees will also ask customers why they’re purchasing charcoal products.
The provincial office will place a signboard indicating “Life Loving Shop” at every participating store, and expand the campaign across the entire province.
The number of cases of so-called “charcoal suicide” has surged since 2008, when a Korean celebrity killed himself by burning charcoal inside his car. In 2007, there were only 87 cases, but the number increased by 21 times to 1,825 in 2013.
Experts say that as charcoal is easy to purchase and the media reported in detailed on how to use it, copycat suicides are following.
Lee Ki-woo, vice governor for social integration of the province, said, “We should be aware that suicide is not a private problem, but a social problem. By offering a little attention to our neighbors, we need to prevent suicide and protect precious lives.”
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)