About The Programme
Partnering with the Korean Association for Suicide Prevention (KASP), the Young Health Programme in Korea focused on increasing awareness of mental health and helping prevent young suicide.
Mental health and suicide have emerged as serious problems in Korea. Suicide remains the leading cause of death among young people - even exceeding the numbers killed in car accidents. Socially, mental health issues and suicide are perceived as a personal matter and a shame to the family; therefore adolescents do not seek professional help or medical treatment.
YHP Korea successfully achieved its commitments for three years and came to a close in September 2014.
What activities are taking place locally?
Managing a website (Keep In Touch) to promote mental health, providing online consulting and information to the public and high-risk groups and enabling young gatekeepers to exchange information and support each other in their activities.
What did we want to achieve through the Programme?
- Develop a society with greater respect for life
- Change the public perception of suicide so that it is considered a preventable health problem and increase awareness about the importance of mental health among young people
- Train young gatekeepers to help prevent young suicide and identify youngsters in a crisis and extend ‘helping hands’
What has been achieved so far?
The Programme launched in September, 2011 achieving extensive media coverage that helped raise awareness around the campaign.
More than 27,513 people have visited the Hope Touch website and 88,184 young people have received mental health information through the campaign. Furthermore, 37 columns have been posted by key opinion leaders, and more than 2,577 people have left hopeful messages on the website.
To date, over 1,794 young gatekeepers and 782 teachers have been trained on how to deal with students at risk of suicide through role play with 94% saying that they would recommend the Programme to others. This has led to increased awareness around the needs of suicide prevention.
“safeTALK” was designed to train youth ‘gatekeepers’. Conducted in phases: Talk, Ask, Listen and Keep Safe, it used methods such as videos, role-playing and discussion to train youths to act as peer supporters, by identifying those at risk of suicide and referring them to suicide prevention experts.
YHP Korea came to a close in September 2014. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Programme, more than 1,700 trained gatekeepers will continue to play a key role in helping students at risk of suicide. KASP will also continue to manage the www. keepintouch.co.kr website to provide mental health information for young people who need help.
Before YHP: I felt my life was boring and going round in circles every day.
My Story: I am at high school and live with my parents and brother who is at university. Before getting involved in YHP I wasn’t very interested in youth mental health or prevention of youth suicide.
How the Young Health Programme helped me: I took part in YHP activity themed around respect for life and prevention of youth suicide. During the training we watched a film about a teenager who was isolated from her friends. It raised my awareness about young people who may be suicidal and taught me how to respond to them appropriately. It made me reflect on my own behaviour towards my friends. I realised that I need to be more attentive to how my friends and family are feeling. I fully respect everyone’s life now and feel my relationships with my friends are better than before. It is a remarkable change due to YHP. I dream of being a designer. I want to design something which can touch people’s hearts.
Our Local Partner
Korean Association for Suicide Prevention
Founded in 2004, the Korean Association for Suicide Prevention (KASP) is a Korean non-governmental organisation (NGO) supported by the Korean government (Ministry of Health & Social Welfare).
It aims to promote respect for life among the public and prevent suicide by helping people who have attempted or are at risk of suicide.
KASP has implemented various programmes such as an anti-suicide forum to share professional information and website monitoring to block harmful information.
KASP promotes mental health and suicide prevention through:
- Education, such as giving lectures, developing education programmes and training experts and volunteers
- Raising awareness of the issue through PR and campaigns
- Research and policy development