One of the most disturbing records that Japan holds is that it has one of the highest suicide records in the world. Some estimates place the number of suicides as high as 30,000 per year which works out to an astonishing 82 suicides per day! There are a number of historical, cultural and financial reasons as to why the suicide rate is so high in Japan but many point to the Japanese concept of ‘wa’ or keeping the harmony by not sharing your personal issues with others as one of the culprits.
This idea of harmony can be challenging for foreigners who are new to Japan and who are used to having their colleagues or friends be a shoulder to cry on in difficult times. Popular YouTube creator Hikosaemon has written an excellent blog post detailing the struggles he had in his early days in Japan and in dealing with personal and work turmoil and how he found an outlet through good friends and good surf!
To find out more about what options are available for anyone suffering from depression I invited Clinical Psychologist Andrew Grimes on the show to talk about the issue of suicide and how mental health is dealt with in Japan.