Outline of Suicide Countermeasures
This page is intended to provide basic knowledge about the reality of suicides and an outline of suicide countermeasures taken in Japan. Most suicides are deaths to which have been driven. Therefore, suicide countermeasures are an inclusive support to stay alive. In addition to describing what this contains, this page will also explore the history of suicide countermeasures and urgent tasks we are facing.
We hope that this page helps you to understand the past, present and future of suicidal problems and the countermeasures taken in Japan.
Reality of Suicides
Most suicides are deaths to which have been driven. Suicide is not just a spur-of-the-moment act during which someone takes his/her own life; it must be understood as a process, one in which a person is forced into a situation where s/he feels compelled to do so. In its background are not just mental health issues; overwork, poverty, parental burnout and caregiver fatigue, bullying and social isolation and various other social factors are known to be involved; it is never a problem in certain people. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has clearly stated, suicide is a social problem that is largely preventable; it is becoming common knowledge throughout the world that suicides are deaths that can be prevented by the efforts of society.
What are Suicide Countermeasures
Suicide countermeasures shall be vigorously and comprehensively promoted at the three levels of “personal support,” “regional cooperation” and “the social system” in ways that will lower the risk of suicide in society as a whole by reducing the social factors that are impediments to life (suicide risk factors) and increasing those that enhance it (protective factors against suicide). A comprehensive approach is important, one that focuses not only on mental health but also has a social and economic component. And, in order to implement this comprehensive approach, close coordination is needed among policy measures, people and organizations in a variety of fields.
History of Suicide Countermeasures
“It is the weak people who commit suicide,” “They died for their own reasons.” Symbolized by these comments, suicide used to be considered as a personal problem, but it has been broadly recognized as a social problem since October 2006, when the Basic Act on Suicide Prevention went into effect. Since the Law has passed, suicide countermeasures has been promoted comprehensively throughout the country. The Law was amended in 2016 and suicide countermeasures in our country has been largely changing in line with the times. For instance, all prefectures and municipalities came to be required to formulate suicide countermeasure plans of their own (mandatory development of local suicide countermeasure plans) to realize a society in which no one is driven to take their own life.