SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea aims to drastically lower the suicide rate in the next five years, the government said Tuesday, as the country battles with one of the biggest causes of death for the young people.
The country has the highest suicide rate among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), data showed. An average of 25.6 people per 100,000 in South Korea took their own lives in 2016.
According to a set of comprehensive measures finalized during a Cabinet meeting, the government aims to decrease the rate to 17 per 100,000 by 2022.
The suicide rate in Asia’s fourth-largest economy has sharply increased since 2000, bucking the global trend of declining suicide rates over the past two decades.
The government said it will collect data on all of the 70,000 people who took their own lives over the past five years to scientifically analyze the cause behind their deaths.
Suicide has emerged as a major concern in the nation in recent years, sparking calls to better assist those afflicted with high level of stress.
Based on the result of the analysis, the government said it will train 1 million people to help those suffering from depression and assist them with psychologists or other kinds of experts.
The government said more than 90 percent of those who committed suicide sent signals before their deaths and noted that suicides can be largely prevented through people paying attention.
In order to help them, the government said it will provide examinations for depression to all people aged in their 40′s to 70′s starting this year during mandatory health checkups. The government currently provides such examinations to selected people aged over 40.