Mental Illness Spreads in Post-pandemic Era | Be Korea-savvy

Mental Illness Spreads in Post-pandemic Era

(image: Korea Bizwire)

(image: Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Korea Bizwire)A growing number of South Koreans have been suffering from mental illnesses following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, primarily office workers, a report said Tuesday.

Rep. Choi Hye-young of the Democratic Party referred to a National Health Insurance Service report that more than 4 million people visited hospitals last year due to mental illness, up by 11.9 percent from 2019.

Focusing on the more common mental illnesses like depression, stress, and anxiety disorder, the increase rate spiked to 26.5 percent among people who subscribed to the employment-based national health insurance plan.

Government employees, in particular, were particularly likely to have received medical treatment for mental illness.

Among all 1.2 million government employees who subscribed to the national health insurance program, 4.3 percent (51,513 people) had received medical treatment for mental illness, which was 0.85 percentage points higher than in 2019.

Sorted by the type of work, 4.2 percent worked in the national defense and social welfare sectors, 3.86 percent in the real estate and rent sector, and 3.67 percent in the education sector.

Following the pandemic, the increase rate of medical treatment for mental illness was the highest among those in their 20s (30.4 percent).

“The high proportion of office workers with mental illness shows that the country’s work environment is bad for their mental health,” Choi said.

H. M. Kang (

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