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A quarter of young people have suicidal thoughts: poll

One out of four students in Seoul have had suicidal thoughts due mainly to academic worries and loneliness, a survey showed Monday.

According to the survey conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government of 1,320 students attending primary, secondary and tertiary schools in the capital city, 25.6 percent said they have felt an impulse to commit suicide.

As for the reason, 29.5 percent, or the largest share, cited stress from schoolwork and performance-oriented circumstances at school, followed by 17.6 percent pointing to feeling lonely and 16.1 percent due to family affairs.

Of some 42.5 percent of the respondents who said they have thought of quitting school, nearly half said it was attributable to being burdened by their school grades, the survey showed.

According to related data by Statistics Korea, suicide was the No. 1 cause of death among the younger population in the country aged 15-24 in 2011. The suicide rate per 100,000 in the age group stood at 13, up from 7.7 tallied in 2001.

Asked of their major concerns, 52.7 percent mentioned physical appearance, 49.7 percent academic performance, and 32.4 percent future career, the survey showed. The respondents were allowed to give multiple answers. 

"The survey shows that quite a large number of youths in Seoul are vulnerable to suicidal attempts. Taking the results into consideration, we will devise proper measures to better protect our adolescents," said Cho Hyun-ok, a city official in charge of the family affairs department. (Yonhap News)



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