The government has decided to revamp its policies on mental health in a bid to shake off South Korea's reputation as the country with the highest suicide rate among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The government unveiled ways to overhaul such policies during a meeting chaired by President Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul on Tuesday.
The government mainly aims to provide psychological counseling to one million people during Yoon’s term.
The government will first start providing such services to 80-thousand medium-and high-risk people next year, including those who tried to take their own life, such people’s family members as well as those regarded to be in need of intervention in mental health by medical or welfare institutions.
With such effort, the government is aiming to mark up the use of mental health services from 12-point-one percent posted in 2021 to 24 percent by 2030.
In a bid to promptly detect alarming signs in mental health, the government will provide regular mental health checkups for young adults aged between 20 and 34 every two years instead of ten years and include not only depression but also schizophrenia and bipolar among disorders subject to the checkups.
Starting from next July, the government will make training on preventing suicides mandatory in a bid to improve the public’s perception on such preventive measures.
With the latest reform, the government aims to slash by half the nation’s suicide rate of 25-point-two per 100-thousand people posted last year in ten years.