Depression and suicide | The Japan Times Online
The National Police Agency has reached conclusions about contributing factors in 23,490 of the suicides committed last year. The most frequently cited factor was depression (27.6 percent), as in the previous year. A government panel on measures to prevent suicide says that many suicide victims suffer from depression, have developed a dependence on alcohol or have a strong sense of guilt about something.
Prevention and treatment of depression should be the main pillar of countermeasures against suicide. Such factors as loss of employment, business bankruptcy, overwork, divorce and the death of loved ones can trigger depression.
One problem is that most people do not have sufficient knowledge about depression. Efforts should be made to educate ordinary citizens about depression and ways of coping with it. It is also important to train doctors, nurses, teachers, local government workers, counselors and corporate personnel workers to identify signs of depression early on, and ensure sufferers receive proper medical and psychiatric treatment.