The rate of suicides in Japan has increased this year by 2.9% with 33,093 suicides being recorded. It seems that the over 60's are fueling this surge as they are increasingly becoming disillusioned with their financial and health situations. This age group also makes up the largest chunk of the suicides at more than 33% of the total.
More than 20% of the Japanese population is over 65 and it would seem that the services provided for this group are clearly inadequate. Many are citing the failing health system and the lack of financial and economic support as reasons for the decision to end it all.
The method of choice is varied but authorities are reporting a significant surge in the use of hydrogen sulfide gas to commit suicide. It seems that the chemicals needed to mix up a batch of the deadly gas are widely available.
The Japanese have the 9th highest rate of suicide in the world. In an effort to reduce the number of suicides the government is about to initiate a USD 220 million program. The bulk of this money is going to be directed to mental health and depression initiatives.
Suicide is a sad thing. I am not a shrink and do not know how successful interventions can be but clearly something must be done to address the alarming surge in suicides. This is not only true for Japan but for all countries!