Nowadays, everything is uncertain, and that can be a significant cause of stress for a lot of people. Lost jobs and lessened hours, lifestyle changes, money stress, and maintaining distance from loved ones will have many experiencing significant levels of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, this has led to too many people taking their own lives, and may have actually contributed to a spike in suicides last month.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, in August alone, 1,849 people committed suicide across Japan, 15.3 percent more people than the same time last year. Of that increase, the majority were women; 186 more women across the country committed suicide compared to last year, along with 60 more men.
Tokyo experienced the highest numbers of suicides, at 119 people–along with the highest increase of 65–but Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama, all Tokyo-neighboring prefectures, also recorded numbers over 100. Aichi Prefecture, home of Nagoya, the fourth largest city in Japan, experienced significant increases, too.
The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare is taking these numbers very seriously, especially since the lowest number of suicides ever was recorded last year. They’ve elected to consider analyzing whether or not the state of the pandemic is the cause for this increase, and have also urged individuals to take advantage of consultation services that are available.
If you are suffering from depression and are experiencing thoughts of suicide while living in Japan, know that you are not alone, and there is help available, even in English. For example, TELL is an organization that offers free phone and chat counseling for the international community in Japan, as well as professional face-to-face and distance counseling, all in English. Check out their website for more information.
With all the trials and tribulations 2020 is throwing at us, it’s never been more important to reach out to friends and family to check on how they are coping with the changes happening in society today. You never know who might be hurting on the inside, and it doesn’t hurt to check in on the people you love!
If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people here to help. Click here for more info.
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