Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 91–102 | Cite as

Implementation and outcomes of suicide-prevention strategies by restricting access to lethal suicide methods in Korea

  • Haesoo Kim
  • Se Won Kwon
  • Yong Min Ahn
  • Hong Jin Jeon
  • Subin Park
  • Jin Pyo HongEmail author
Review Article


For more than 10 years, the suicide rate in South Korea has been the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Suicide-prevention strategies, such as restricting access to lethal suicide methods, have been implemented in Korea. In this paper, we discuss suicide-prevention strategies that restrict access to the five leading methods for committing suicide: pesticide ingestion, inhalation of charcoal fumes, jumping from heights, placing oneself in front of moving subway trains, and hanging oneself by the neck. Of the five suicide-prevention strategies outlined in our study, prohibition of the herbicide paraquat and installation of screen doors were proven to be effective, while others need further assessments. Yet, the overall decline in suicide rate from 31.7 per 100,000 people in 2011 to 27.3 per 100,000 people in 2014 suggests that these suicide-prevention strategies have successfully decreased the suicide rate in Korea.


Suicide Prevention Method restriction Herbicide 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haesoo Kim
    • 1
  • Se Won Kwon
    • 2
  • Yong Min Ahn
    • 3
  • Hong Jin Jeon
    • 1
  • Subin Park
    • 4
  • Jin Pyo Hong
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Research at the Korean Center for Suicide PreventionSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatrySeoul National University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Research Planning, Mental Health Research InstituteNational Center for Mental HealthSeoulRepublic of Korea

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