S. Korean school suicides total 139 last year

Nearly 140 South Korean school students killed themselves in 2012, according to a new government report that cited family problems, depression and exam stress as the main triggers.

The report, published this week by the Education Ministry, covered all students from elementary to high school.

The figure of 139 suicides recorded last year was the lowest for three years, but still worryingly high in a country with one of the world's highest overall .

Of the total, 88 were , 48 from middle school and just three from elementary school.

About 40 percent were motivated by family-related problems, while 16 percent were triggered by and 11.5 percent by exam-related stress.

Dozens of teenagers kill themselves every year around the time of South Korea's hyper-competitive college entrance exam, unable to cope with the intense scholastic and parental pressure to secure a place in a top university.

Last year's student suicide figure compared with 202 suicides in 2009, 146 in 2010 and 150 in 2011.

South Korea has the highest suicide rate among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with an average of 33.5 people per 100,000 taking their lives in 2010, far higher than Hungary (23.3) and Japan (21.2) which ranked second and third.

The figure for South Korea equates to nearly 50 suicides a day and shows a steep increase from 2000 when the average incidence of suicide was 13.6 people per 100,000.

The capital Seoul has installed anti- monitoring devices on bridges over the Han river after 196 people jumped to their deaths last year.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Suicides hit all-time high in Singapore in 2012

Jul 12, 2013

Suicides in Singapore hit an all-time high of 487 in 2012 as more young people bogged down by stress and relationship woes took their own lives, a charity group dealing with the problem said Friday.

China's suicide rate 'among highest in world'

Sep 08, 2011

A person tries to kill themselves in China every two minutes, the government and state media said Thursday, giving the country one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

2012 US military suicides hit a record high of 349

Jan 14, 2013

Suicides in the U.S. military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private experts are predicting the dark trend will worsen this year.

Recommended for you

Family dinners reduce effects of cyberbullying in adolescents

4 hours ago

Sharing regular family meals with children may help protect them from the effects of cyberbullying, according to a study by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy. Because family meal times represent ...

The Edwardians were also fans of brain training

10 hours ago

Brain-training programmes are all the rage. They are part of a growing digital brain-health industry that earned more than US$1 billion in revenue in 2012 and is estimated to reach US$6 billion by 2020. The extent to which they actually improve brain function re ...

Report advocates improved police training

Aug 29, 2014

A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

User comments