South Koreans who have attempted suicide in the past are 25 times more likely to eventually take their own lives, according to a report by the Welfare Ministry on Tuesday.
Out of about 8,800 people who had been taken to the emergency room for suicide attempts between 2007 and 2011, almost 240 people eventually killed themselves by the end of 2012, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare data.
The suicide rate for those who have previous attempts stood at 700 for every 10,000 persons per year, versus 28.1 for every 10,000 persons for those who have no such experience.
The Welfare Ministry collected the data from psychological autopsies, suicide awareness research, and interviews with those who attempted to end their own lives. This is the first time the government conducted a nationwide research project on suicide.
Some 1,300 people were transported to emergency rooms in connection with suicide attempts last year, the report showed. Depression and relationship-related stress were cited as the primary reasons for the extreme acts.
As for signs of suicidal thoughts by age, young people in their 20s or under tend to post photos and writing on social media, hinting at ending their lives. Those in their 30s and 40s opt to drink more alcohol, while people in their 50s and 60s tell their children to take care of the spouse they leave behind.