In yesterday’s post about First World Suicides, I mentioned that South Korea is #1 for suicide rates among the developed countries and they have held this position for the past eight years.
In a country where the pressures of ambition, achievement and success are omnipresent, students feel frustrated, anxious and ultimately, dejected. Up to 40 people commit suicide each day.
What is South Korea doing about this problem?
Students are enrolling in “death experience” schools where they go undergo their own funerals. The hope and expectation is that students completing the program will learn to appreciate life again. Indeed, some of the graduates emerge with a sense of “cleansing” and “enlightenment.”
Young students are not the only clients. Others enrolling in these schools includes middle-aged people anxious about finances and the elderly who are afraid of being burdens on their families.
The program is designed to provide an opportunity for reflection. Suicidal clients are directed to reflect on the “collateral damage” their deaths might cause and they are reminded that a critical part of life is to have problems and to handle them.
One factor fueling the stress of success is South Korea’s rapid progress as a super power. In just a few decades, “South Korea has rocketed from one of the poorest countries in the world to the 12th biggest global economic power” (Daily Mail).¹
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Answer below!