Category Archives: News

South Korea Suicide Prevention Ritual for Employees

After hearing the news of Korean actress Kang Doo Ri, I really felt this post needed to be made. This is not an easy topic nor is it one that should be taken lightly.

Originally it was reported that Kang Doo Ri had been killed in a car accident, however, after further investigation it was determined that it was indeed a suicide.

The Incheon Samsan Police Station revealed that the actress had been found dead in Bupyeong-dong, Incheon on December 14 around 4 p.m. KST. After investigating the cause of her death, they found out that before Kang Doo Ri was found she had sent a message to a friend suggesting that she was going to take her life.

Reports concluded that there were no signs of a break-in or foul play. Police found coal briquettes as part of evidence that she ended her own life.

(source: soompi)

Often times, people may think that we know why a person would take their own life. And sometimes they do say exactly why they would resort to such a permanent solution, but in the case of Kang Doo Ri, we may never truly know.

On December 11, three days before she passed away, she wrote, “I’m having a hard time these days because I’m experiencing a lot of bad personal problems. It was getting better after finishing the drama and doing broadcasts. But the situation became bad and didn’t go as planned so I couldn’t do anything. I’m really sorry and I apologize. However, I am thinking of getting ready to return to everyone after becoming calm. So I’m trying to stand up once again. See you next week.”

(source: soompi)

My heart breaks for her family and I send my deepest condolences to them as they grieve.

I think the part that truly makes any news of suicide painful is that, at some point, we think there may have been signs we missed. Or maybe we think it was something that was said that we didn’t pay attention to. Something so subtle. And then we blame ourselves. We feel the weight and the guilt and wonder, what could we have done?

According to the BBC News, South Korea has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. Most workers report that it’s stress that drives the feelings of deep depression leading to suicide, among numerous other reasons. However, in an effort to help employees cope with life, Korean companies have taken the lead in trying to help employees appreciate life.

But what is this and why would it help?

This is called the “macabre ritual” and it is designed to be a bonding experience. Its purpose is to teach each person to not only value their own life but also the lives of others. Before getting into the casket, they see videos of people facing different adversities from illnesses to loss of limbs. They watch these videos and see the people as the overcome these different struggles in their lives and then they themselves are placed in a casket to reflect for 10 minutes.

So how has this helped?

“After the coffin experience, I realised I should try to live a new style of life,” says Cho Yong-tae as he emerges from the casket. “I’ve realised I’ve made lots of mistakes. I hope to be more passionate in all the work I do and spend more time with my family.”

(source: bbc)

But this is not the only ritual that employees will participate in.

“…[President Park Chun-woong] also insists that his staff engage in another ritual every morning when they get to work – they must do stretching exercises together culminating in loud, joint outbursts of forced laughter. 
“At first, laughing together felt really awkward and I wondered what good it could do,” says one woman. “But once you start laughing, you can’t help but look at the faces of your colleagues around you and you end up laughing together… I think it really does have a positive influence. There’s so little to laugh about in a normal office atmosphere, I think this kind of laughter helps.”

(source: bbc)

It truly is heartwarming to see that they are in fact trying to find ways to help others where they see there’s a need. Taking a personal interest in people has shown to have the most positive effects in ways we may never know or fully understand.

And though we may not be able to recognize the signs of someone on the verge of suicide or even know what to say if we ever get that message from a loved one or a friend, there is help out there.


 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please visit https://www.afsp.org/.

 

 

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International News | South Korea’s Loudspeakers to The North + Update: North Korea Regrets Landmine Attacks

I don’t know why but for some reason, the tensions in Korea (North vs South), was somehow turning into a musical to me. It was reported recently that the North declared they were ready to go to war with the South at Kim Jong Un’s command. While the command hasn’t been given, South Korea is demanding that the North offer an apology for the border landmine attacks on the South Korean soldiers patrolling.

Since then, the North has finally said they regret their actions.

North Korea has expressed regret over two South Korean border guards injured by a landmine blast and promised to make efforts to prevent a similar incident from happening again, according to South Korea’s National Security Office Chief Kim Kwan-jin. The North also decided to withdraw its declaration of “quasi-state of war” against Seoul, he said.

(source: Korea Times)

Could it have had something to do with the South Korean loudspeakers blasting propaganda that pertained anti-North Korean messages and included music? But not just any music. According to Korean news, they were playing Big Bang’s “BANG BANG BANG” and Noh Sayun’s “Meeting” among other notable songs.

However, since North Korea has expressed regret for their actions and will do a better job at preventing incidents like this, (or in South Korean terms acting “abnormal”), South Korea has decided to turn off the loudspeakers.

The musical, for now, is over. But it still feels like a daily k-drama… 

Photography | A Daughter, Her Father and The Journey that Brought Them Together

I read this on Yahoo! and I really wanted to highlight it here because it brought me to tears. It was literally the most touching story I had read all day. I’ll post excerpts of it here but I really do encourage you to go read the full article and to also check out Diana Kim’s blog, Homeless Paradise.

This story is about a woman named Diana Kim, a photographer in Hawaii, who grew up without her father. When she was young, her father left her family and she hadn’t heard from again. However, she remembered his studio and how he allowed her to play with the discarded disposable cameras. This created a love of photography in her and she began pursuing it, even taking a class in high school.

Fast forward to Diana as an adult and in college. She began taking pictures of the homeless community in Hawaii because she said that she identified with them. Growing up for her wasn’t easy. She lived with relatives, slept in cars, parks, and friend’s homes, so she understood the gravity of their situation.

“I gravitated towards the homeless because in some ways, I identified with their struggle,” she says. “I knew what it meant to be discarded and neglected, and to not have the stability and economic freedom I wanted.“

(source: Yahoo!)

But as she was photographing them, she discovered her father among the homeless ones she had taken pictures of. Kim’s grandmother had informed her that her father was sick and at the time she says, she thought he was “physically sick”. She soon discovered that it was a mental illness. She talks more about the severity of his illness and then about the moment when she finally approached him. One of the most powerful and heartbreaking moments in her account.

“…After approaching him cautiously, she tapped him on the shoulder. He didn’t look up at her. “Everything felt heavy. I felt the weight of our circumstances in my heart and struggled to process what was happening. It was painful and raised so many of my childhood feelings, insecurities, and frustrations of him not being there… “The vast emptiness between us was broken by a woman who approached me and said, ‘Don’t bother, he has been standing there for days.’ A part of me wanted to scream at this woman, and the world, for being so callous. I wanted to yell that he was my father, that she was a heartless person to not care. But I realized that none of that would change the circumstances. So instead of screaming at her, I faced her and said, ‘I have to try.’”

(source: Yahoo!)

She went on to talk about how she, along with friends and family and others, tried to get her father help whenever they could find him to which he refused each time. It wasn’t until after her father suffered a heart attack and began receiving care that they were able to begin to build a relationship.

I thought the entire story was incredibly moving and heartwarming. It goes to show the depth of human love, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. Though we can’t change the circumstances of our lives, or even the moments that led us to who we become, we can choose to love and to forgive. Today, Diana and her father are building a beautiful relationship that she is semi-documenting through her blog.

If you have time, check out her full story here on Yahoo! and her blog, Homeless Paradise, in the link above.

Korean Actress Jung In Ah Dies in Skydiving Accident

This was honestly the most depressing thing I’ve read all day and I am truly so sorry to hear about this. Korean actress and model Jung In Ah was found deceased after being reported missing following a skydiving trip.

It has been confirmed by several sources that Jung In Ah’s body was found on June 16, three days after she went missing while taking part in skydiving training in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. Her body was found floating in the sea, tangled up with her parachute. Bad weather is thought to be the primary cause of the accident.

(click here to see the full article at soompi.com)

I was really really really hoping this wasn’t true so I procrastinated talking about it. I was hoping beyond hope that maybe just maybe the “sources” were confused or it got misinterpreted or something.

My heart truly breaks for her family.