Youngsters Seek Help as Lockdown Intensifies Family Conflict

  • By Kim Yeon-ju

    December 19, 2020 08:29

    Nearly 80 percent more adolescents sought counseling over family conflicts this year as lockdown threw Koreans into uncomfortable closeness day and night.

    The number who sought counseling for mental health problems such as anxiety or depression also soared by more than 50 percent.

    The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on Thursday announced the figures based on statistics from the Youth Cyber Counseling Center for January to November.

    The center provides online counseling to adolescents who have difficulties at home and school. The total number of counseling cases reached 295,227 between January and November, up 31.6 percent on-year.

    The rise was particularly sharp in counseling for family problems, rising by a whopping 75.8 percent to 43,185 cases over the same period.

    Most or 32,648 cases were about conflict between parents and children, followed by 4,827 about conflict between other members of the family. Another 86,699 cases were related to mental health, up 53 percent.

    "It seems that many adolescents have been involved in family conflicts as they stay at home more than before due to coronavirus," a ministry spokesperson said. The spokesperson said counseling spiked in June, when the first wave of the pandemic abated.

    Counseling for future careers and jobs stood rose nine percent to 38,083 cases, but counseling for juvenile delinquency fell from 3,286 to 2,953 as opportunities to misbehave decreased in lockdown. 

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