The Korea Herald


Youth suicides in S. Korea up 57 pct in a decade

By 윤민식

Published : Sept. 10, 2013 - 11:57

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The number of suicides among the youth in South Korea has increased by 57 percent since 2001, data showed Tuesday, growing at a faster pace than that of adults.

The number of suicides per 100,000 people aged 10 to 19 rose 57.2 percent to 5.58 in 2011 from 3.19 in 2001, according to the data by the state-run Korea Health Promotion Foundation (KHPF) on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on Sept. 10.

The suicide rate for adults in the 20-64 age group increased 50.5 percent from 16.96 per 100,000 to 33.58 during the same period.

The rate for South Korean adolescents was much higher than that of the average suicide rate among children and the youth in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Between 2000 and 2010, the rate for youngsters aged 10 to 24 in OECD countries fell to 7.7 per 100,000 from 6.5, while that for South Koreans in the same age range soared 47 percent to 9.4 from 6.4, taking the fifth spot among the 34 member nations.

The growth rate of suicide cases in South Korea for those aged 10-24 ranked second among the countries, following Chile with 53 percent.

"A solution to the youth suicides should be different from that to the adult suicides, as the causes are very different," said the KHPF.

For the adults with suicidal ideation, the medical treatment is important as they tend to also suffer from depression, but most teen suicides stem from impulsive feelings rather than mental disorders like depression, the foundation said.

In a bid to prevent the young people from killing themselves, it is important for adults to make efforts to understand their strong feelings of stress and other troubles, it said.

A separate data by Statistics Korea last year showed that adults aged 20 and over cited economic difficulties and diseases as the key cause of suicide, while teenagers cited school grades and family troubles. (Yonhap News)