Accessing Suicidal Ideation from Responses to Queries on Subjective Well-Being
Japan’s suicide rate rose after the Asian Crisis and the subsequent economic downturn, and has remained high since. In 2009, the male suicide rate was the third highest among OECD countries, and the female suicide rate was the second highest. According to the National Police Agency, more than 30,000 people committed suicide on average in each year from 1998 to 2011; in 2013, 27,283 people killed themselves in Japan. In addition, the National Police Agency (2014) reported that the major reasons for committing suicide in 2013 were health conditions (13,680 cases), financial difficulties (4,636 cases), family problems (3,930 cases) and work issues (2,323 cases) in Japan. The methods used to commit suicide, in 2009, were: hanging (19,700), gas poisoning (4,337), jumping from a great height (2,360), drowning (886), incision (683), other poisons (663), jumping in front of trains (643), and other suicide methods (1,150). Suicide also generates a negative externality; the WHO (2000) indicates that on average each suicide intimately affects at least six other people. Thus, suicide prevention programs should also include postvention to those who are mentally affected.
KeywordsSuicidal Ideation Suicide Rate Suicide Prevention Order Probit Model Suicidal Intent
We are grateful to Ryoichi Watanabe and Shiho Kawano for supporting this research project at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. We are especially grateful to Bruno Frey, the editor of this chapter. We also thank Miles Kimball, Seiichi Kondo, Margit Osterloh, Noah Smith, Tim Tiefenbach, Aki Tsuchiya and participants of the International Workshop held at Doshisha University in Kyoto and the International Conference held at the EHESS in Paris on “Comparative Study on Happiness” for all comments and suggestions received while working on this manuscript. This work was supported by JSPS Topic-Setting Program to Advance Cutting-Edge Humanities and Social Sciences Research.
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