More than 65,000 schoolkids in Korea need counseling and treatment for emotional problems, recent data shows. Some 9,624 are considered at risk of suicide and require urgent treatment.
According to a report to lawmaker Ahn Min-seok, the Education Ministry conducted mental health checkups on about 2 million elementary, middle and high school students early this year, and found that 65,558 or 3.2 percent need special attention.
The group of students who need special attention steadily declined from 4.8 percent in 2013 to 3.2 percent in 2015, but in that group the proportion who are seriously at risk rose from 58.8 percent last year to 61.9 percent this year.
The number of students considered a suicide risk rose from 8,613 last year to 9,624.
The checkups are conducted every year. Those considered vulnerable must have counseling and suicide prevention classes more than once a quarter at school.
If youngsters are considered a suicide risk, schools must immediately put them in touch with a doctor.