Monday, 1 September 2008

South Korea tackles record suicide rate

South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the 30 OECD countries (24.7/100,000) followed by Hungary (21/100,000) and Japan (19.5) – this compares with New Zealand on 11.9/100,000 (OECD Health report 2008; figures from 2005). Now it seems the South Korean government is doing something about it. According to The Korea Times the government is coming up with a strategy that involves “that focuses on strengthening the social and economic safety net for those in the low-income bracket and the aged…. seeking to establish more screen doors at subway stations to prevent people from committing suicide by jumping in front of trains…regulating purchases of poison pesticides … and Web sites encouraging suicide are also considered a major target.” Curiously no mention at all of the role of mental health services or primary care in suicide prevention. The strategy will be announced on world suicide day on September 10th – hope they’ve looked at the ways other countries are doing it.

No comments: