January 17, 2012 07:34
One teenager a day commits a suicide in Korea on average, with 353 youngsters between 10 and 19 ending their own lives in 2010, according to the Statistics Korea.
Until 2008, road accidents were the biggest cause of death among youths, but suicide took over in 2009.
The figures do not capture teenagers who failed in their suicide attempts, whose number is far greater than that of successful suicides. In a survey by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 73,238 students in middle and high schools from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2011, 14,135 respondents, or 19.3 percent, said they have thought about suicide, and 3,662, or 5 percent, said they attempted it.
The reasons are various, from stress from parents' excessive expectations and control and family conflict to bullying and violence at school and unsatisfactory academic grades and relationship problems.
Jeon Yeon-jin at the Korea Youth Counseling Institute, said, "It's hard to pinpoint one specific reason why teenagers choose to kill themselves because it's motivated by complex factors. It's often the case that many different reasons weigh them down over time and eventually they make an extreme decision."
Even for youngsters who are thinking of killing themselves due to bullying at school, if they can communicate well with their parents at home, it is possible to prevent the suicide.
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