Korea has launched its Young Health Programme in partnership with the Korea Association for Suicide Prevention (KASP). The campaign ‘Love for Life’ aims to increase awareness about the importance of mental health among young population in Korea and change the public perception of suicide so that it is considered a preventable health problem.
Suicide remains the number one cause of death in the young - even more than car accidents but the level of social concern and institutional support to address the problem is insufficient. The average suicide rate stands at 31.2 persons per 100,000, the highest among OECD member countries, where the average is 11.3.
"Korean adolescents spends over 50% of their day studying due to a highly competitive environment and this leads them to be highly stressed and even consider suicide. To date, there has not been any major campaign to highlight this issue and provide solutions. That is why we are working with AstraZeneca as part of the Young Health Programme on the promotion of youth mental health as a first step to making a meaningful difference to young people’s mental health", Gyuseob Ha, Representative of KSPA.
The Young Health Programme in Korea will build and launch a digital communication channel to promote mental health by providing online consulting and useful information to the public and high-risk groups. Young gatekeepers will also be trained to identify peers in crisis at school and provide practical help to them as ‘emergency agents’ each year.
“We hope that the programme will help remove the shame that is associated with mental health so that young people will seek professional help. We are looking forward to working in collaboration with KASP to creating a social atmosphere that respects life and nurtures specialists in the prevention of young suicide through the Young Health Programme ‘Love for Life Campaign.” Sangjin Pak, MCP of AZ Korea.