SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent study has revealed that the number one cause of death among South Koreans between the ages of 10 and 30 is suicide.
Experts are calling on the government to develop stronger countermeasures as it is more likely for younger South Koreans to resort to self-harm before deciding to commit suicide.
According to Statistics Korea, the suicide rate in South Korea last year was 26.6 per 100,000 people, up by almost 10 percent since 2017 (24.3 per 100,000).
In 2017, suicide was the biggest cause of death among those in the 10 to 30 age group.
The suicide rate among teens was on par with the average of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, but the suicide rate among 20-somethings, however, was two times higher than the average of the OECD average.
Among the teenagers who attempted suicide, 44.2 percent were struggling with psychological issues, followed by family problems (13.5 percent).
Another 40.1 percent among those in their 20s were found to be struggling with psychological issues as well as economic and livelihood problems (22 percent), and relationship problems (10 percent).
Among those in the 20s age group attempting suicide, 42.5 percent had harmed themselves in the past, as had 21.5 percent of those in the 30s age group.
Experts are calling on the government to introduce monitoring programs to prevent young South Koreans from committing suicide.
“Asian culture tends to shun exposure of privacy, and hide away problems unless they get worse,” said Prof. Lee Dong-hun from Sungkyunkwan University.
Recently, young South Koreans have been posting photos and videos of self-harm on social media, sparking controversy that they are resorting to self-harm to gain attention.
What’s worse is that they are different from other teenagers with actual issues of self-harm. Normally, self-harm is done behind closed doors and kept away from public knowledge.
“We have to understand that resorting to self-harm is a desperate attempt by teenagers to commit suicide,” said Shin Eun-jeong, Vice Director of the Korea Suicide Prevention Center.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)