Tuesday, March 08, 2011

South Korea's suicide rate is the highest in OECD


Suicidal South Koreans increasingly chose Han River bridges instead of subway stations for their fatal leaps after platform screen doors were installed at many stations, police said on Tuesday.

The number of people who jumped off river bridges in Seoul increased 30 per cent to 108 last year, the National Police Agency said in a report submitted to a ruling party lawmaker, Yoon Seok Yong. Twenty-eight of the 108 died while 80 others survived.

In contrast, the number of people who attempted suicide by throwing themselves in front of subway trains fell drastically to 29 last year from 77 in 2009, according to the report.

Most of the incidents happened at stations without screen doors, indicating such barriers were effective in preventing suicides.

'Just as screen doors were established at subway stations for the safety of citizens, we need to prepare various measures to prevent impulsive suicides on Han River bridges,' Mr Yoon was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's suicide rate is the highest among member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with 15,413 taking their own lives in 2009.
(See: http://www.sourceoecd.org/pdf/societyataglance2009/812009011e-08-04.pdf) ◦

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