Increase in suicide following an initial decline during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

There is increasing concern that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic could harm psychological health and exacerbate suicide risk. Here, based on month-level records of suicides covering the entire Japanese population in 1,848 administrative units, we assessed whether suicide mortality changed during the pandemic. Using difference-in-difference estimation, we found that monthly suicide rates declined by […]

Levels and predictors of suicide stigma and suicide literacy in Japan

Existing evidence suggests that suicide stigma and suicide literacy may influence outcomes for people experiencing suicidal thoughts. The current study investigated suicide stigma and suicide literacy in a Japanese community sample (N ​= ​217), with comparison to published data and evaluation of correlates of suicide stigma and literacy. Japanese participants had significantly higher levels of suicide stigma […]

Effectiveness of assertive case management for patients with suicidal intent.

The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of assertive case management intervention in preventing suicidal behaviour in self-poisoning patients. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the ACTION-J study. Participants were self-poisoning patients with clear suicide intent admitted to emergency departments and with a primary psychiatric diagnosis (as per DSM-IV-TR axis […]

Effectiveness of assertive case management for patients with suicidal intent.

The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of assertive case management intervention in preventing suicidal behaviour in self-poisoning patients. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the ACTION-J study. Participants were self-poisoning patients with clear suicide intent admitted to emergency departments and with a primary psychiatric diagnosis (as per DSM-IV-TR axis […]

Suicide by gender and 10-year age groups during the COVID-19 pandemic vs previous five years in Japan: Ana analysis of national vital statistics

Using daily vital statistics data from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, we provide the first weekly and age-group-specific estimates of the additional suicide burden during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan by gender, from January through November 2020. Our results indicate that compared with the previous five years, suicide cases in 2020 in […]

Relationship between self-rated health and depression risk among children: Promoting school-medical care cooperation for child suicide prevention

Background Japan is facing a markedly high incidence of adolescent suicide. This study examines the relationship between depression and self-rated health, which is a significant factor driving people toward suicide, highlighting the importance of children’s assessments of their health. Methods In this cross-sectional study, an original questionnaire combining text and illustrations was administered to 6,421 […]

Effectiveness of suicide prevention gatekeeper-training for university administrative staff in Japan

Aims Suicide is a leading cause of death among Japanese college and university students. Gatekeeper-training programs have been shown to improve detection and referral of individuals who are at risk of suicide by training non-mental-health professional persons. However, no studies have investigated the effectiveness of such programs in university settings in Japan. The aim of […]

Green space and suicide mortality in Japan: An ecological study

Although numerous studies have investigated the effect of green space on mental health, as yet, little is known about the association between green space and suicide. To address this deficit, we conducted the first Japan-wide study of the relationship between green space and suicide mortality. Results from spatial analyses of municipality-level panel data for the […]

Analysing the impacts of financial support for regional suicide prevention programmes on suicide mortality caused by major suicide motives in Japan using statistical government data

To improve and plan regional suicide prevention programmes that utilise more cost-effective governmental financial support compared with previous programmes, the present study determined the effects of the amount of financial support provided for regional suicide prevention programmes, such as the Emergency Fund to Enhance Community-Based Suicide Countermeasures (EFECBSC), on the trends of suicide mortalities caused […]

Assessment of suicide in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic vs previous years

Importance  There are concerns that suicide rates may have increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Objective  To assess whether suicide rates in Japan increased in April through November 2020 compared with previous years. Design, Setting, and Participants  This cross-sectional study used national data obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare from 2016 to 2020 […]

Trends in suicide in Japan by gender during the COVID-19 pandemic, up to September 2020

Suicide is an extreme consequence of the psychological burden associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) counter-measures. A quasi-Poisson regression was applied to monthly suicide mortality data obtained from the National Police Agency to estimate the gender-specific excess/exiguous suicide deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan up to September 2020. We found excess suicide deaths […]

Geography of suicide in Japan: Spatial patterning and rural-urban differences

Purpose There are notable geographic variations in incidence rates of suicide both in Japan and globally. Previous studies have found that rurality/urbanity shapes intra-regional differences in suicide mortality, and suicide risk associated with rurality can vary significantly by gender and age. This study aimed to examine spatial patterning of and rural–urban differences in suicide mortality […]

Suicide and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis, but its effect on suicide deaths is little understood. Method: We analyzed data from monthly suicide statistics between January 2017 and August 2020 and online surveys on mental health among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. Results: Compared to the […]

Characteristics of train stations where railway suicide frequently occurs: Evidence from Japan

Background: It is necessary to identify stations where suicide is likely to occur to  devise promising railway suicide countermeasures. Aim: We examined the relationship between station characteristics and the occurrence of suicide. Methods: (Study 1) Using suicide data between April 2014 and September 2019 provided by a major railway company in Japan, station-specific suicide was […]

Do suicide rates in children and adolescents change during school closure in Japan? The acute effect of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic on child and adolescent mental health

Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has severely impacted the lives of children and adolescents. School closure, one of the critical changes during the first COVID-19 wave, caused decreases in social contacts and increases in family time for children and adolescents. This can have both positive and negative influences on suicide, which is one of […]

Implementation of gatekeeper training programs for suicide prevention in Japan: A systematic review.

Background: Suicide is a critical global health issue. Japan has had a high suicide rate for the last 12 decades. In 2007, the Japanese Central Government Ofce issued the “General Principles of Suicide Prevention Policy”. An important component of this policy was the gatekeeper training (GKT) program. GKT is a widely recommended suicide prevention intervention. […]

Examining whether South Korean and Japanese views of suicide and death help to better understand their contrasting suicide patterns

Based on two independent surveys of South Korean (n=1,599) and Japanese adults (n=1,490) views of suicide and death this analysis found South Koreans more stress-prone and more accepting of suicide than the Japanese, patterns convergent with their overall differences in societal suicide rates. Multiple regression analysis findings suggested that a substantial proportion of the variations […]

Association between childhood suicidal ideation and geriatric depression in Japan: A population-based cross-sectional study.

Is suicide beautiful?

Abstract. Background: The sociocultural context shapes attitudes toward suicide. Japanese literary works such as the Hagakure and the Bunraku Sonezaki-Shinju depict suicide as beautiful and honorable. Although suicide acceptance is likely to affect suicide rates and prevention efforts in Japan, studies in this area are limited. Aims: This study aimed to explore suicide acceptance and related factors among Japanese […]

Clinical trajectories of suicide attempts and self-harm in patients admitted to acute-care hospitals in Japan: A nationwide inpatient database study

Background: For patients with suicide attempts or self-harm, acute-care hospitals often function as the primary or sole point of contact with the healthcare system. However, little is known about patient characteristics or clinical trajectories of suicide attempts and self-harm episodes among those admitted to acute-care hospitals. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of suicide attempts […]

Covariance in diurnal patterns of suicide-related expressions on Twitter and recorded suicide deaths

Social media data is increasingly used to gain insights into trends in mental health, but prior studies aimed at confirming a link between online expression of suicidal ideation on social media and actual suicide deaths have been inconclusive. Using comprehensive six-year data sets of Twitter posts and suicide deaths in Japan, we examine the diurnal […]

The impact of Suicide Prevention Act (2006) on suicides in Japan: An interrupted time-series analysis

Background: The Suicide Prevention Act was implemented in 2006 in Japan to promote various suicide prevention strategies. Aims: The present study examined the impact of the Suicide Prevention Act on recent suicide mortality rates in Japan. Method: Using an interrupted time-series design, we analyzed monthly mortality rates between January 1996 and December 2016. Death certificate data from vital statistics were […]

Mortality and suicide rates in patients discharged from forensic psychiatric wards in Japan.

Abstract Background Japanese forensic mental health services for patients with psychiatric disorders under the Medical Treatment and Supervision Act was initiated in 2005; however, the prognosis of those patients is not well-known, particularly regarding mortality and suicide. This study aimed to evaluate the all-cause mortality and suicide rate in forensic psychiatric outpatients who had been […]