Among the members of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Korea ranked top in suicide rate. Along with the data, it is noticeable that women’s suicide rate in Korea is higher than that of men especially in age group of 20’s.
According to the data provided by the OECD and World Health Organization, out of every 100,000 South Koreans 26.1people committed suicides in 2005, 27 people in 2008. This is a sharp increase from 11.8 people in ten years ago.
Reasons of committing suicides vary, but the largest reason is melancholia, and its biggest motive is pessimism, which took 45.7 percent. Others were illness 22 percent, denial 7.7 percent, metal disorder 6.9 percent, family discord 5.7percent, poverty 4.3 percent. Especially after the financial crisis in 2008, suicide due to poverty has increased.
“The suicides of celebrities also influence much in citizen’s mental health. After the movie star Choi Jin-sil died, the average suicide rate increased deeply,” said Chung Ick-joong, the Professor of Graduate School of Social Welfare.
Chung also said the Werther effect, which behaviors pass between humans by ideas, language and behaviors. Last October when Choi died, 1,793 people committed suicide, while the other month’s number of committing suicide was around 1,000.
With the growing suicide rate, it is clear that Korean woman in age group of 20’s showed great increase of suicide rate. Total number of suicide for 2008 is 12270, women taking 4339, 35.4 percent of the rate. But among those, women in their 20’s composed 50.9 percent. This is dramatic increase in decent four years as 2004’s suicide for women at the age of 20’s were 35.7 percent. Even more, since last year, overall women’s suicide rate has gone higher than that of men’s.
“Suicide is contagious, it is said that six people around the victim are to be in mental unstableness. Those who do not get mentally secured in two weeks are suggested to be examined. Also, people younger than 24 are more likely to be affected by the death of close people,” said Chung.
Chung also said to take care for others around in order to decrease the uprising suicide rate. “Melancholia comes from lack of steady identity, but it can be improved with concern from others.”