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N.Y. Korean Suicide Rate Skyrockets

Korea Times, News Report, No-Yeol Kim, Translated by Eunji Jang Posted: Jun 30, 2009

NEW YORK -- More than 30 Koreans in New York City have committed suicide this year.

According to a Korea Times survey of the three major Korean funeral parlors in New York and New Jersey -- Jung-Ang Funeral Parlor, Je-Mi Funeral Parlor and Kim, Ki-Ho Yae Hospital -- 31 Koreans committed suicide between January and June 26th. This number indicates that an average of five Koreans in New York kill themselves each month, four times greater than the general population's average of 12 to 15 suicides a year.

The funeral directors said the number would be even higher if the survey had included more funeral homes.

Observers say the financial burdens that were fueled by the economic crisis have led some people to suffer from self-hatred and have contributed to the rapid increase in suicides.

Experts say the rate of suicide has increased particularly among married couples and the elderly. Moreover, suicides by young people -- high school and college students as well as people in their 20s and 30s -- have also recently appeared.

Experts point out that, in addition to the recession, the frequent suicides by South Korean celebrities also have an effect.

Even though the suicide rates tend to increase during the recession, South Koreans suicide rate is noticeably high compared to other ethnicities, said one of the Korean funeral directors. Economic distress, family trouble and disappointment are the leading causes of suicide. However, we cant ignore the ripple effect of the Korean celebrities suicides that have been occurring in succession.

Related Articles:

'It Wasn't Suicide' Korean Mourners Say

Actresss Suicide Exposes S. Korea's Culture of Sexual Exploitation

Korean Suicide Sparks Internet Regulation Debate in China

One in Four Korean Deaths in L.A. Is a Suicide

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