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Cited 10 time in webofscience Cited 11 time in scopus
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Depression, suicide, and Korean societyopen access

Authors
Nam, MiheeHeo, Dae SeogJun, Tae YeonLee, Min SooCho, Maeng JeHan, ChangsuKim, Min Kyung
Issue Date
Apr-2011
Publisher
KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOC
Keywords
Depression; Suicide; Prevention; Korea
Citation
JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, v.54, no.4, pp.358 - 361
Indexed
SCIE
SCOPUS
KCI
OTHER
Journal Title
JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Volume
54
Number
4
Start Page
358
End Page
361
URI
https://scholarworks.korea.ac.kr/kumedicine/handle/2020.sw.kumedicine/13591
DOI
10.5124/jkma.2011.54.4.358
ISSN
1975-8456
Abstract
The number of Korean people who are currently suffering from depressive disorders that require medical treatment is assumed to be more than 2 million. However, only around 15% of those with depressive disorder are actively receiving medical treatment, and this leads to an increasing suicide rate. Hence, the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency held a round-table conference to provide information on depression and suicide and suggested a reasonable policy through comprehensive discussion with experts. The prevalence of depression, which is closely related to suicide rates, is lower in Korea than in the U.S., but the rate of suicide is the highest among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. It is thought that the underestimated prevalence of depression is owing to the inconsistency between the diagnostic criteria of depression and characteristics of depression in Korea. Therefore, it is necessary to develop Korean diagnostic criteria for depression reflecting cultural characteristics and conduct a regular and organized nationwide survey. Moreover, a term related to suicide officially used by Statistics Korea is 'intentional self-injury'. However, in a Korea-based community study, it was found that 60% to 72% of those attempting suicide had mental disorders; thus suicide is not merely an intentional self-injury but a medical condition that should be treated. To reduce suicide, both medical and social approaches are necessary. Furthermore, a strengthening of the public perception that a medical approach is important for suicide prevention is greatly needed. Moreover, it is necessary to prepare an effective national suicide prevention strategy through studies evaluating the suicide prevention policies currently implemented and psychological autopsy of suicide deaths similar to those practiced in Finland.
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