Well, this is rather depressing.
According to Japan’s health ministry, almost one-quarter of that country’s citizenry have contemplated suicide.
What in the world?
The health ministry’s survey reveals that a total of 23.6 percent of respondents considered killing themselves. More women than men have suicidal thoughts, according to the data; 25.6 percent of women have considered it, while 21.4 percent of men have done so.
That said, more men than women actually kill themselves in Japan, at a rate slightly greater than two to one.
A Newsweek article on the disturbing information actually suggests, perhaps inadvertently, Japan’s lack of a Christian orientation may, in part, account for the high suicide rate: “In Japan, suicide is not considered to be a sin, because there is no Christian tradition.”
As for how those who have considered suicide but don’t actually follow through manage to suppress those thoughts, the survey details that some simply apply themselves more fully to either work or hobbies, while others find success in talking things out with people close to them.
Revealingly, the Newsweek article also mentions that mental health services are largely invisible in Japan, with fewer than seven percent of survey respondents indicating they were aware of suicide prevention assistance.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large