J Korean Med Assoc.  2011 Apr;54(4):386-391. 10.5124/jkma.2011.54.4.386.

Suicide prevention strategies from medical perspective

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jongmin.woo@gmail.com
  • 2Stress Research Institute, Inje University, Seoul, Korea.


Even though suicide ranks as the fourth cause of death and is causing a significant loss in Korea, it seems that the conventional notion regarding suicide as a feasible way of solving a troublesome life situation hinders early recognition and proper management of suicide. This article reviews suicide prevention strategies recommended based on robust experience and scientific understanding of the characteristics of the suicide problem. In the UK, a suicide prevention strategy was formed at the national level suggesting significant goals to reduce the rate of suicide. In the US, the Institute of Medicine study committee examined the state of the science base, gaps in knowledge, strategies for prevention, and research designs for the study of suicide. This recommendation includes more science-based, coherent and well-coordinated multidisciplinary approaches, and thus suggests important practical recommendations for a suicide prevention strategy of Korea. The author concludes that suicide should be defined as a treatable and even preventable medical condition. Constructing a national network of suicide research, data surveillance, developing tools for suicide prevention including early detection and safety planning, and comprehensive insurance coverage are recommended.


Suicide; Depression; Institute of Medicine; Prevention
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