Thursday, September 10, 2015

Suicide Prevention in Korea

 Korea has for the last ten years, as a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, placed first in the number of suicides: recorded was 29.1  persons for every hundred thousand, which was twice the average. Peace Weekly News gives the readers an understanding of the situation within the church.

From 1985, most of the countries which are members of the OECD have decreased in the number of suicides but Korea continues to increase, which makes for a gloomy future. Efforts are made to throw off the stigma by programs and seeking to understand those who are contemplating suicide. They have hope to decrease the numbers. Finland and Japan did succeed, and are good examples for Korea to follow.

The international Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) with the World Health Organization (WHO) has established the World Suicide Prevention Day  which we remember today. The day alerts us to the ways we can prevent suicidal behavior, lessen the effects and educate those working to prevent suicides.
Preparing for the day were many events, educational programs and campaigns in society and churches. The Catholic Church also has programs for the prevention and to spread the culture of  life movement.

One Heart One Body Center of Seoul in preparation for September 10,  conducted a survey and published their results. This is the first survey made  dealing only with suicide. They wanted to determine the attitude and understanding of suicide  within the church in order to establish programs in the future. 

81% of those that responded felt that the  problem was more with society than with the individual. With a change in society 84 % thought we would see a change in the number of suicides. 86,38 % had never had contact with those who were contemplating suicide. The majority have never attended any programs in the prevention of suicides. 78 % thought there was a need for such programs. 

Respondents to the survey 88.54 % never had any suicidal thoughts-- reasons given: religious convictions 19.18 %, children 16.2 %,  spouse/sweetheart 13.2%, parents 12.4%.  The longer they lived and deeper the  religious life, less  thoughts of suicide. This coming December there will be a symposium with a Japanese counterpart in which the Center wants to conclude with a strategy for the future in suicide prevention.

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