Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Suicide Rate Climbs in South Korea

On the occasion of International Suicide Prevention Day, the WSJ points out that Siuth Korea's suicide rate -- already the world's highest -- has shot up further.

It's a significant increase in double-digit percentages, and one wonders whether it represents new methodology for reporting and/or determining suicides rather than a real increase in the actual act itself. But there's no getting around that it remains a serious problem (something I've addressed many times here).

I am a little disappointed in WSJ reporter Evan Ramstad's suggestion that Siuth Koreans wouldn't pay attention to the suicide problem were it not for this international day of recognition. Suicide is something that weighs heavily on all sectors of society, prompting the government, for example, to spend tens of millions if dollars to retrofit every subway station in Seoul with a barricade to prevent suicides or accidents when people on the platforms end up on the tracks.

My point is that much more should be done, but they certainly aren't ignoring the issue.


This succinct email was sent from my iPhone.



  1. The sliding doors in the subways are a very good measure. But ultimately it's a band-aid for a difficult and in some ways impossible societal ill. I'm wondering...do you think suicide has always been an issue (or non-issue) in Korea historically?

  2. I wonder if it comes from how mercilessly Korean parents ramrod their children to excel. If so, it might be compared with suicide rates among aimless, unmotivated American youth, drowning their ennui in drink and drugs.


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