alarming jump in suicides among new york koreans

Here's a sobering New York Times article from last week on the shocking jump in the number of reported suicides among Koreans and Korean Americans in the New York area, apparently fueled by the recession and other pressures: Suicides Soar Among New York Koreans.

The number of suicides more than doubled last year, to 15 from 6 in 2008. All of the dead were Korean citizens, according to the local Korean Consulate General, which doesn't keep statistics on Korean Americans. The latest suicide came last month, when a woman in hanged herself in her home in Flushing, Queens.

And that's just the reported number. The consul general believes that the actual total of suicides by Korean citizens might be more than twice as high. According to The Korea Times, at least 36 Koreans and Korean Americans in the New York region had taken their lives in 2009.

Korean American community groups have organized several suicide prevention seminars in New York and New Jersey. It's heartbreaking to see people driven to such desperation that they feel the only way out is take their lives. And it's a tragedy to see it felt so acutely by one group. There has to be a way to stop this cycle before more lives are lost in 2010.

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