Suicide in South Korea: the evil that hits k-pop


the hallyu phenomenon it has grown more and more thanks to various South Korean idols such as k-pop singers, actors and actresses. Unfortunately, in this milieu, suicide in South Korea has appeared to interrupt the lives of young people still on the rise.

Which Korean celebrities have already taken their lives? What measures are being taken to change this reality? What do mental health professionals say on this subject? Let's see this now!

Suicide in South Korea

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) South Korea has the second highest rate of suicide of the world. The index is higher among elderly people, the reason is the situation of vulnerability experienced by them, many are unable to retire with dignity, so it is common mainly with those with low purchasing power.

Then come the young people who also have a high mortality rate for taking their own life, especially among males. It's a matter treated seriously, but it becomes a matter of fact when it happens in the artistic world.


2015 WHO data show that in the country there were 24.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. And that same year most deaths were of people between 10 and 39 years old.

celebrity suicide

Many South Korean idols have drastically interrupted their lives, an evil that is often masked by a smile and gorgeous stage performances. Let's look at some celebrities who lost their lives through deep grief.


Jonghyun is the stage name of Kim Jong-hyun (김종현) was born on April 8, 1990 in Seoul. He was a singer, songwriter and producer for the group SHInee for SM Entertainment. The beginning of his career was in 2008 with the band that ended up becoming one of the most successful in South Korea. Jonghyun committed suicide in December 2017, at the age of 27. Before the event, he was already showing signs of depression in his melancholy songs and posts on social networks.


Sulli actually had the name Choi Jin-ri (최진리) she was from the South Korean city, Busan, Born March 29, 1994 she started her career in 2005 as an actress. In 2009 he became part of the group f(x) and stayed until 2015. But during this period she also acted in several dramas. She was found dead in October 2019, death confirmed as a suicide. People close to her claimed that she had depression. Sulli was close friends with Jonghyun and Koo Hara.

Koo Hara

Koo Hara or Goo Ha0ra (구하라) was born in Gwangju on January 3, 1991. Hara was a singer and korean actress. In 2008 she began her career as part of DSP Media's Kara group and stayed until 2016. During this period, she was part of the reality show presentation and debuted as an actress. Hara's love life was fraught with problems, she was assaulted and even threatened by her ex-boyfriend to release a sex video made without her consent. After what happened, she started to be harassed on social networks. That same year, in 2018, she attempted suicide, but was found in time. However, in November 2019 she managed to take her own life at just 28 years old. Hara died six weeks after Sulli's death.


Oh In-hye

Oh In-hye (오인혜) was born on January 4, 1984 in the capital of South Korea. She was an actress and model, started her career in 2011 in the film Sin of a Family. She made 8 movies and 3 series. In the year 2019 she created a channel on You Tube. In September 2020, she was found dead in her home at 36 years old.

Seo Min-woo

Seo Min-woo (서민우) was born on February 8, 1985 in the South Korean city of Daegu. He was an actor and singer, his career began in 2006. He received recognition by joining the band called 100% from the TOP Media record label. In 2014, Seo Min-woo left the band because of the compulsory military service 1 year and 8 months. In March 2018 he died.

Possible causes

The causes that lead to suicide are numerous! In an interview with clinical psychologist Suki Desu, Magda Custódia talks about the type of thinking of the person who already thinks about committing the act: “When a person has depression, which is the biggest cause of suicide, they usually say “not my life worthless!" "What am I doing in this world?" or “nothing makes sense to me, so I'd rather die!”. So, these people are already having suicidal thoughts and often even plan how to do it."

In the case of South Korea, their level of demand regarding the artist, exhibition, sasaegs (obsessive fans) are just some of the factors that can contribute to many developing a psychological problem.

In August 2021 one of the members of the TWICE group, Jeongyeon, withdrew from activities due to panic and anxiety disorder. The singer was away from October 2020 to January 2021 for the same reason. The same happened with Mina, her group partner who in 2019 was left behind due to problems of anxiety and insecurity.

Staying away from the spotlight to take care of yourself is important, but the person must come back at the right time. ”The person themselves must analyze whether they will feel good going back to work, or whether they will be safe. Because anxiety at a high level brings feelings of fear, insecurity and often even panic or phobias. For these people to feel well and prepared to return to their activities, it is also necessary to be in psychological and psychiatric care”, says the psychologist.


In South Korea the demand starts early with regard to studies, career and appearance. When the person is famous comes more commitments and responsibilities that must still be in accordance with what is imposed by the agency and the expectations of fans. Artists are criticized all the time, people believe that because they are known they have the right to speak what they want about their lives, all of which affects mental health in some way.

suicide bridge

The Mapo Bridge, as it is popularly known as the Suicide Bridge, crosses the Han River in the capital of South Korea, Seoul, and its length is 2.2 km. The bridge is code-named Suicide Bridge because it is a common place for attempts to take one's life. About 1,090 people are believed to have jumped this bridge between 2003 and 2011.

At the end of 2012 the Samsung company had a creative idea to try to reduce the suicide rate. It is estimated that after the 85% campaign deaths declined. The solution was to transform the bridge into a Bridge of Life! Illuminated signs, photos of happy people and phrases such as:

"Visit the people you miss"

"The best moments of life are yet to come"

"Isn't it nice to walk on a bridge?"

All phrases and photos were chosen and elaborated with the help of psychologists with the objective of making the person thinking of committing suicide distracted to the point of reaching safely on the other side. Next to the bridge there is also a statue of a man consoling another called "Just Once Again". Phones on the bridge can also be used to call the mental health helpdesk.

It is important that we are always aware that this does not happen to people close to us. Showing empathy and being observant can save a life! “Depression is not laziness, it's not freshness, it's not to attract attention! It's a serious disease! concludes Magda Custódia.