A seminar on Corona 19, middle-aged suicide, and the role of the religious community was held recently in Seoul and reported on by the Catholic Times. Representatives from different religious groups presented the direction that each group is making and the results and prospects for the future.
Participants debated the importance of suicide prevention activities in 'religion' while discussing the subject of Corona 19, middle-aged suicide, and the role of the religious community.
With the prolonged coronavirus situation, concerns about increases in suicide among middle-aged people are growing. It was pointed out that the middle-aged, the main axis of the family and society, is at risk of suicide due to the economic downturn.
One of the participants said: "The suicide rate is not increasing at the moment due to the overall tension in society but in 2-3 years we will know the reality" The suicide rate after the onset of Corona19 was similar to the previous year, but experts at home and abroad say that Corona19 will increase the suicide rates.
Indeed, others have predicted that the economic difficulties and social isolation caused by Corona19 in April of this year will affect the risk of suicide. The Committee for Suicide Prevention Policy under the Prime Minister also predicted at the meeting of the committee held on May 27: "Isolation may increase due to economic difficulties and social distance, and this will increase the risk of suicide of those in their 40s and 50s."
Another panelist said that the increased use of smartphones and computers during this Corona 19 era will tire the mind, harm health, and cause emotional anxiety and loneliness. He also said that the middle-aged generation, with the burden of supporting parents and children, is faced with difficulties and not old enough to be cared for by the government. The economic difficulties will continue for some time after the end of Corona 19.
Participants stressed the importance of religious roles to prevent suicide risk. It is a request on the religious communities in resolving depression, and stress when the government cannot financially support the many remedies necessary caused by the harm of Corona 19. A professor of psychology said: "I think the place where the greatest role should be played is in the religious world." Religious institutions can play a pivotal role. It is a place where social isolation is prevented, and there are many teachers to rely on.
One of the Catholic participants said that they will actively cooperate with suicide prevention through such measures. The Church teaches that one should not take his own life and the need to restore the family so that it will not collapse, an effective way to prevent suicide, and supply a basic emotional support network so that middle-aged will not be driven into suicide.