New data show that 12 percent of all adolescents in the nation have had suicidal thoughts, driven by feelings of either deep sorrow or anger. In 2001, the suicide rate among Koreans aged between 10 and 19 was 3.2 per 100,000 people.
But this jumped to 5.6 per 100,000 in 2011, a near 1.8-fold increase. The rate of increase was the second-fastest among OECD nations after Chile.
While economic hardship is the leading cause of suicide among adults, the biggest issues driving adolescents to the brink include academic concerns and family trouble. Less than 10 percent of teen suicides are linked to depression, which is often the leading factor for older people who take their own lives.