Authorities across Japan are asking parents and schools to be on the alert for signs of stress and depression among children as the summer break ends. This is because the number of suicides among elementary, junior high school and high school students has spiked in recent years as summer vacation comes to a close.
The Japan Support Center for Suicide Countermeasures (JSSC) has analyzed suicides by 3,209 students from elementary to high school over a period of 10 years from 2006 to 2015. The highest number of suicides occurred in late August with a total number of 153 deaths, while there were 122 at the beginning of September, and 108 in mid-April at 108—after school resumes from spring break, Fuji TV reported.
Kazu Moriguchi, a researcher at JSSC, said, “In the case of junior high school and high school students, the highest motivation to commit suicide is anxiety about school life, bullying and fitting in. If parents notice that their child is not open to talking about school or appears to be suffering from troubles related to school, they should be very cautious and watchful. Teachers also need to be on the lookout for potential problems.”
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) has pointed out that these concentrated suicide numbers correlate with turning points such as progressing to the next grade. An education ministry official advised parents: “If there is something troubling about your child’s behavior, do not keep it to yourself but rather consult with various organizations.”© Japan Today