J Korean Med Assoc.  2012 Apr;55(4):356-361. 10.5124/jkma.2012.55.4.356.

Current state of research on youth depression and suicide prevention

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea. gmkim2010@naver.com
  • 2Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea.


Suicide has dramatically increased in recent years, and South Korea is the highest rate among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries. Noteably, suicide is the leading cause of death in South Korea in youths aged 15-24. Approximately 70-90% of youth suicides are related to a preexisting psychiatric disorder such as depressive disorder, conduct disorder, or substance abuse. Recently, some studies have proposed nationwide suicide prevention programs, but there have been no systematic studies about suicide and suicide prevention programs particularly for adolescents. In South Korea, to establish an evaluation system of mental health screening services and to develop a case management program, a mental health promotion model for adolescents and a few programs for depression and suicide prevention for adolescents are currently being developed. Developmental considerations and a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment and prevention of suicidal adolescents are very important. In addition it is necessary to conduct a systematized nationwide survey of depression and suicide in adolescents.


Suicide; Prevention and control; Adolescent; Korea
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