J Korean Med Assoc.  2012 Apr;55(4):349-355. 10.5124/jkma.2012.55.4.349.

Suicide prevention by education

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ks2485@empal.com
  • 2Educational Committee, Korean Association of Suicide Prevention, Seoul, Korea.


The best and only solution for suicide is prevention. Suicidal behavior can be divided into 3 phases: suicidal ideation, suicidal planning, and suicide attempt. To prevent suicide more effectively, it is better to intervene at an earlier phase of suicidal behavior before suicide attempts occur. It is essential to educate the public, gatekeepers, and mental health professionals about suicide prevention. The authors suggest that the role of the public and the gatekeepers-identifying signs of suicide earlier and referring to professionals-is very important because suicidal behavior is common in Korea. Although many public institutions or private organizations that are working for suicide prevention in Korea have made an effort to educate the public and the gatekeepers, the outcome has not yet been satisfactory due to a lack of structured programs for education. There are several kinds of well-made educational programs for gatekeepers. However, most of these programs were developed in foreign countries which have social and cultural backgrounds different from Korea. It is essential to develop a structured, systemized educational program that reflects the cultural and social characteristics of Korean society for the public and the gatekeepers.


Suicide; Prevention; Education; Korea

MeSH Terms

Mental Health
Suicidal Ideation
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