Most Families Fail to Spot Suicide Warning Signals

      November 09, 2019 08:23

      Nine out of 10 people who commit suicide send clear warning signals such as excessive drinking or depression, but their environment often misses them, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

      The ministry interviewed family members of 391 people who killed themselves from 2015 to 2018. Some 92.3 percent gave warning signs, but the families of 77 percent of them did not notice.

      Warning signs could mostly be spotted within three months before they committed suicide. 

      Researchers at Seoul National University and Wonkwang University also conducted a survey of 1,500 adults and found that 18.5 percent had thought about suicide. The main reason was financial difficulties with 34.9 percent, while 26.5 percent cited family problems.

      The survey is conducted every five years, and family problems were the main reason in the previous survey in 2013. The worsening economy seems to play a devastating role.

      The researchers also interviewed 1,550 people who attempted suicide and visited emergency rooms at 38 hospitals nationwide last year.

      Some 8.4 percent tried to kill themselves because they suddenly found themselves broke, up from 5.2 percent five years ago. Some 5.2 percent considered suicide because of job-related problems, up from 2.9 percent.

      The number of deaths by suicide per 100,000 people in Korea decreased from 28.5 in 2013 to 24.3 in 2017 but is now on the rise again. The country had the highest suicide rate in the OECD last year. 

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