November 8, 2020
Figures show that number of suicides in Hiroshima Prefecture in 2021 totaled 492, an increase of 22.7% over the previous year. The increase is particularly noticeable among middle-aged and older adults, and the suicide death rate, which indicates the number of suicides per 100,000 people, is 17.6, exceeding the national average for the first time in 26 years.
According to statistics from the National Police Agency the numbers of suicides according to age group were
・62 people in their 30s
・96 people in their 40s
・87 people in their 50s
・69 people in their 60s
・75 people in their 70s
An analysis of motives learned from suicide notes and other sources shows that “health” accounted for the largest number of deaths (304, up 46 from the previous year), followed by “finances/life” (120, up 60), and “family” (116, up 46). The increase in the “Finances/Life” category was particularly notable, doubling from the previous year.
The prefectural government believes that the living environment will not improve in the foreseeable future due to soaring prices and other factors, in addition to having to repay of loans and advances related to the COVID-19 crisis. The “Hiroshima Plan for Supporting Life (Third Prefectural Suicide Prevention and Countermeasures Plan),” currently being be finalized, includes the goals of reducing the number of suicides to less than 360 per year and the suicide death rate to 13.2 by 2027, and the prefecture plans to strengthen its countermeasures.
The prefectural government believes that many middle-aged and older men in particular tend to be hesitant to seek advice and help, and will therefore focus its efforts on raising awareness of various counseling services, such as telephone counseling, and mental health measures in the workplace. The Prefectural Disease Control Division states, “We will promote the creation of a system that allows people to consult with each other without anxiety, and increase the number of people who stop themselves from committing suicide.”
Source: Chugoku Shinbun