Experts call for measures to stop pandemic-driven suicides

Experts call for measures to stop pandemic-driven suicides

Women in their 20s, 30s vulnerable to depression, new book finds

By Lee Yeon-woo

The self-employed have been portrayed in the media as one of the groups of people most affected by COVID-19. More than a year after the pandemic began, he has been forced to close his business as strict social distancing regulations are well enforced.

But there is another demographic that is often overlooked and whose issues are not adequately addressed in the policy-making process. A woman in her 20s and her 30s. Lack of proper attention to these vulnerable women has led to an increase in suicides.

Depression can strike women under pressure for many reasons, but the most prominent are increased housework and household chores, caring for children, and concerns about children’s health and safety. there is no way out. Experts say her 4,444 women suffering from symptoms of depression since the pandemic began may be linked to rising rates of suicide among young women.

Seoul Suicide Prevention Center Director Kim Hyun-soo said suicide is not just the result of individual choices. Rather, it is the responsibility of society as a whole to enable these women to choose death over life.
The generation gap is one factor in young women feeling misunderstood, he said. What’s worse, the older generation doesn’t even try to understand the stressed-out younger generation.

“Times have changed, but older generations only try to understand young people from their own perspective,” he told the Korea Times.

“In the past it was a battle of hunger and survival, but today’s youth are fighting loneliness and questions about the meaning of life. angers older generations.

The pandemic has created a stressful environment for many women in their 20s and 30s.

Unmarried women are at risk of falling out of the job market as the pandemic exacerbates job insecurity. suff

“The Loneliest Choice” Courtesy of BookHouse Publication

ering from aggravation.


Those in employment have suffered pay cuts and layoffs as the pandemic continues, but the unemployed are also finding it harder to find work — married women are no exception. With my husband working from home and my kids attending online classes, I am facing more household chores.


South Korea has the highest suicide rate among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. There are some disturbing facts behind this. According to the Statistics Office, half of those who died in her 20s in 2020 died by suicide.

Even more alarming, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, one of her five people rushing to the emergency room after a suicide attempt is a woman in her 20s. That number is her 33.5% increase from 2019.
As co-author, Kim shares 20 years of experience in the mental health and youth protection field through her newly published book, The Loneliest Choice, in which Kim and five other of suicide and the issues that lead to it.

Lee Hyeon-jung, an anthropology professor at Seoul National University and one of her co-authors, asked several interviewees to help readers understand how young women think about suicide. I’m sharing what I’ve heard from
“I randomly met dozens of young women in my study. Surprisingly, more than half of those surveyed had experienced or had depression at least once in their lives.

She recognized that COVID-19 and its effects contributed to her low mood.
According to the Seoul Suicide Prevention Center, the number of women in their 20s and 30s who have used counseling services has increased by 40% due to the pandemic.

Lee pointed out that there are many reasons for women’s pain.

She shared the story of her first grader and her working mother who were attending online classes due to the pandemic. “She said she had no choice but to leave him at home. She was very worried about the child and was very stressed. She was seriously considering quitting her job.” and Lee quoted her interviewee as speaking of her mixed feelings for her child and the guilt over not properly caring for him that ultimately led her to suicidal thoughts.

Professor Lee said that women who are contemplating suicide desperately seek help from others, but find it difficult to open up and ask for help for various reasons.

“Given the average life expectancy in South Korea, young people are the ones who work for decades and contribute to society. Therefore, losing them through suicide means losing society as a whole,” added Professor Lee.
The book suggests that one thing is essential to help these women out of despair and find meaning in life. But they need good social policies to ameliorate suicidal thoughts.

“Most of the current strategies are short-term rather than long-term and offer one-off economic benefits such as subsidies.” ,” said Professor Lee Gi-yeon of the Korea Human Resources Development Institute for Health and Welfare.

He pointed out the fallacies of employment-oriented policies.

“Politicians attribute most problems to ‘unemployment.’ Policies should be carefully formulated to meet the unique characteristics and aspirations of each young person,” said Professor Lee. Local theater appearances, less than 5% of his reception rate No voice policy can be considered a “policy for young people” in name only. ”

Credit/Source : KOREATIMES

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