Culture & Suicide

Suicide rates differ in various countries and cultures around the world. Some research shows that even the content of suicide notes is different depending on the culture of the suicide victim. However, certain aspects of suicide are consistent across cultures:

  • more men commit suicide even though, in most cultures, females attempt it more often
  • many factors can lead to suicide (e.g., economic hardship or bullying), but depression is usually a common factor
  • people who are suicidal can be helped by similar methods, especially sharing their feelings with people who care about them

Here are some interesting articles that deal with suicide and culture, which I am assigning to individuals and pairs of students. You should be prepared to summarize the articles IN YOUR OWN WORDS and give your personal reflections on them in our next class on November 19th. You don’t have to cooperate with the person(s) you’re paired with when giving your summary and opinions, but it would be nice

The guest speaker whom I invited to my seminar last Tuesday, November 12th, spoke about his film at TEDxTOKYO. It will help you understand the background of his documentary by watching a video of that short lecture, which I have embedded below:

Suicide in South Korea: the dark side of the crisis: Nobutaka

In More Religious Countries, Lower Suicide Rates: Rie & Takahito

Suicide in Ethnic Minority Groups: Shoichiro

Suicide prevention and developing countries: Tadaki

Farmers’ suicide: Across culture: Chiemi

Study Links Japan’s High Suicide Rate To Bad Weather: Joanna

How tragedy led an Irish man to tackle Japan’s suicide culture: Yurie

Suicide: First Aid Guidelines: Nobutaka

Alcohol consumption and suicide: Miyabi

Japan: ending the culture of the ‘honourable’ suicide: Rie

Suicide — Differences from Culture to Culture: Takahito & Nobutaka

Cultures of suicide: Shoichiro & Miyabi

Religious Views on Suicide: Tadaki & Yurie

Coping with Loss: Understanding Suicide Loss: Joanna & Chiemi [watch the video and describe that as well]

The following video is Rene Duignan’s film “SAVING 10,000 – Winning a War on Suicide in Japan.” Dr. Rene Duignan is an economist here in Tokyo representing the European Union. He has given nearly 100 lectures about his film and it has been screened hundreds of times. Interviews of him about the documentary were reported in both the Asahi Shimbun and the Yomiuri. “Saving 10,000” has been entered in numerous film festivals and has been awarded various prizes.

Here is the film in its entirety:

This is the PowerPoint that the guest speaker, Rene Duignan, used for the presentation that he gave last week. It has a lot of interesting information in it.

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