Suicide has claimed more Japanese lives in October 2020 than the 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Japan has handled the coronavirus better than other nations who were also hit by the virus. They were able to keep their death rate to less than 2000 since February. However, while successfully managing the pandemic, they are facing yet another issue with the suicide.
Recently, the National Police Agency reported 2,153 suicides in October alone, which is the fourth straight month of increase. Suicide has killed more Japanese people in a month than COVID-19 has in 10 months.
The surge in the suicide rate is worsened due to the economic and social issues caused by the pandemic. In this year alone, there are more than 17,000 people who committed suicide in Japan. Psychiatrist Chiyoko Ueda from Yokohama has said in a recent statement that mental health distress due to COVID-19 has been evident in her clinic.
“My self-esteem is low because I’m worried about money. The stay-home situation has disrupted my life. My kids and I don’t get along,” one patient of Chiyoko said to her.
Government officials have launched efforts to combat this rising issue of suicide in Japan. Hotlines and social media have also been implemented to counsel the potential victims of suicide.
“We need to seriously confront reality,” chief government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said.
Mental Health Epidemic
It is not only Japan that is facing this “mental health epidemic, but” other countries are also struggling with the same issue. U.S. researchers warned earlier this year that the pandemic could cause mental health issues due to unemployment, lack of social contact, and other stressors.
Hope in Christ
There is still hope in Jesus Christ. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, call upon the name of Jesus and seek help.
“To anyone considering the idea of taking your life, I beg of you… DON’T,” Pastor Hiram Pangilinan of Church So Blessed said in a Facebook post. “Please, for God’s sake and yours… your soul’s sake. God has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Call on Him, and He will rescue you. Jesus understands you. When He took the human form, He also went through human pains. Call on Him. He promises to help. He is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Reference: CBS News