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, pairs, or groups of three students–depending on their length and difficulty. You should summarize the articles IN YOUR OWN WORDS and write your personal reflections on them in the Nicenet Conferencing area “Culture & Suicide.” You don’t have to cooperate with the person(s) you’re paired with to write your summary and comments; you can work on it independently.

Suicide in South Korea: the dark side of the crisis: Ran Hamuro

In More Religious Countries, Lower Suicide Rates: Yuriko Morisawa and Yoshihiro Fukaya

Suicide in Ethnic Minority Groups: Masami Hattori and Rika Kato

Suicide prevention and developing countries: Asuka Miyamoto and Chika Usami

Farmers’ suicide: Across culture: Natsuki Kashiwase and Yuki Matsui,

Suicide methods in Europe: Tomomi Ishikawa and Hiromi Mashimo

Suicide: First Aid Guidelines: Aika Komatsu and Kent Kato

Alcohol consumption and suicide: Yurika Hayashi and Asami Iida

Japan: ending the culture of the ‘honourable’ suicide: Kotaro Neshi and Saki Morita

Suicide — Differences from Culture to Culture: Koji Inoue and Miho Imazu

Cultures of suicide: Riho Higashida

Religious Views on Suicide: Haruka Tanaka and Kei Ogawa

Coping with Loss: Understanding Suicide Loss: Jin Sato, Reiko Hiratsuka, Anna Yamanaka [watch the video and describe that as well]

The following video is a trailer of Rene Duignan’s film “SAVING 10,000 – Winning a War on Suicide in Japan.” Dr. Rene Duignan is an economist here in Tokyo for the European Union. He was interviewed about the film by the Asahi Shimbun last week and a few weeks ago by the Yomiuri. NHK is considering broadcasting the film and its been entered in 30 film festivals.

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