On average, 36 people per day commit suicide in Korea.
That's over 13-thousand suicides a year, 25.6 suicides for every one-hundred-thousand people in this country.
This figure is two.five times higher than the traffic accident death rate.
And Korea has had the highest suicide rate in the OECD since 2003.
Against this backdrop, the government aims to lower the suicide rate from 25.six per one-hundred-thousand people in 2017 to 17 per one-hundred-thousand by 2022, hoping to prevent some 15-thousand people from committing suicide over the next five years.
To reach this goal, the government has set up a comprehensive set of measures, which require participation from the related government ministries, including the health and welfare, education, and culture ministries.
The government will first complete an extensive study on every one of the 70-thousand people who committed suicide from 2012 to 2016, and based on the findings, it aims to establish a National Surveillance System on Suicide Trend, to analyze patterns and statistics.
Next, the government will try to build strong local networks to prevent suicides, by educating around a million officials and local medical and social workers, so they can immediately respond to those thinking of taking their own life.
Depression tests will also be strengthened and be issued more frequently during national medical check-ups.
The government will also almost double the number of counselors at mental welfare institutions, and set up a Mental Health Information System, through which the government can actively take necessary actions toward those groups that are most at risk of committing suicide.
The welfare minister Park Neung-hoo said reducing the suicide rate is one of the most pressing matters that should be addressed to enhance the quality of life for all in the nation
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.