Comparative Analysis of Suicide in Japan and the UK – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Comparative Analysis of Suicide in Japan and the UK" is a delightful example of a paper on social and family issues. Suicide is a major setback in healthcare caused by self-inflicted injuries. According to the WHO, suicide is reported to cause approximately a million deaths a year (Who. int, 2014).   Remarkably, almost every person who commits suicide has a diagnosable mental disorder. Most of the victims committing suicide have a psychiatric illness; hence, the approach that a country implements to deal with suicides determines the success of reducing suicide deaths.   In the UK, men are more susceptible to suicide because of possible negative life experiences such as alcoholism and clinical depression.

Suicide causes national mortality rates to increase, which further portrays a poor healthcare system. Additionally, one suicide may affect a number of family relatives reducing the productivity of citizens in a nation. It is the responsibility of a nation to ensure that it keeps pace with the increasing demand for mental healthcare.   A national healthcare strategy is critical to the reduction of suicide cases in a nation. From an international perspective, suicide is ranked among the top three death causes.

  WHO indicates that suicide is primarily caused by depression, which is a worldwide illness necessitating various nations to increase healthcare for mentally unstable individuals. Suicide Inequalities in Healthcare The increase in suicide cases is linked to unequal healthcare provision for individuals with severe mental illness.   It is an unequal health provision that explains the high mortality of suicidal cases in men in the UK. Suicide is more common to the low socio-economic class, which means that there is a likelihood that the patients will not be able to access effective medical attention due to socio-economic inequalities as well as discrimination in healthcare.   Budget allocation for preventing and addressing suicide is also another healthcare inequality.   The reluctance in intervening in conditions that promote suicide in both the UK and Japan increase the number of suicide cases.

However, the economic recession in Japan led to a decrease in healthcare regardless of the socioeconomic status further leaving the mentally ill susceptible to committing suicide. Similarly, in Japan, despite its achievements in healthcare, comparatively less has been done to address mental illness. Reasons behind Suicide Inequalities in Healthcare The reason behind unequal healthcare provision for suicidal cases is because of the perception associated with suicide.

It is close to impossible to determine when an individual is to commit suicide despite having a mental illness (Lawrence and Kisely, 2010). However, healthcare does not perceive suicide as preventable from a healthcare approach, but only from a psychological perspective; hence, leaving potentially avoidable deaths to happen.   Additionally, suicide is attributed to other factors such as life experience, relationships, lifestyle, employment, and genetics, which the healthcare feel it can do very little to ensure such factors lead to death (Nhs. uk, 2014).     The lack of understanding of the high-risk for suicide is another reason behind the provision of inadequate mental healthcare. Cultural suicide prevention approach in Japan According to Wilson (2011), suicide in Japan is associated with the history of the country and the culture of its people.

Consequently, one of its main approaches towards suicide is through cultural prevention strategies, which involve various generic and pragmatic issues. However, the approach focuses on the possible causes of the high numbers of suicidal behaviors in Japan but does not seek the treatment of possible mental illness.   Additionally, cultural prevention practices such as the use of focus groups do not in any way promote the intervention of the medical services to ensure that mental illness is diagnosed at early stages.

On the contrary, the UK focuses on increasing mental illness specialists to ensure that the rate of suicide is reduced. Parallel programs designed to address alcohol and substance use disorders The use of parallel programs focus on addressing alcohol and substance use disorders is another approach that Japan has embraced to minimize suicide cases (Brent and Mann, 2006).

However, the approach would be more effective if it integrated addressing social inequality and social discrimination. Additionally, adequate psychiatrists are provided by the healthcare to ensure that mental needs for the victims are addressed. The programs also recognize that urban regions report more cases of suicide compared to other regions (Qin, 2005) Barriers/possibilities of the approaches in relation to local healthcare provision Despite that the cultural suicide prevention approach may seem to work in Japan, there is possible a barrier to the approach in the UK (Holland and Hogg, 2010).

The barrier is that the UK is focused on the detection of psychiatric disorders irrespective of culture given that there is no history that reveals culture to play a part in suicide cases.   There is a possibility that the UK can embrace the use of the parallel program as applied in Japan as per the local healthcare provision. However, the approach only addresses a part of the problem given that alcohol and substance use disorders contribute a substantial low percentage the suicide cases in the UK (Manchester. ac. uk, 2014).

  Recommendations to reduce Suicide cases Various interventions exist to ensure that suicide cases are reduced.   The first recommendation is the integration of both medical and psychological approach, which would ensure that the client receives both mental and medical care (SHER, 2004). Another recommendation to reduce suicide is the use of the media to provide counseling sessions to the depressed over various issues and give them a chance to seek voluntarily personalized assistance from medical centers.

Finally, the healthcare needs to increase funding to research aimed to study suicidal behaviors that will help the mental illness specialist detect and treat an individual in a timely manner.


Brent, D., and Mann, J., 2006. Familial pathways to suicidal behaviorâ” understanding and preventing suicide among adolescents. New England Journal of Medicine, 355(26), pp.2719-2721.

Holland, K., and Hogg, C., 2010. Cultural awareness in nursing and health care. 1st ed. London: Hodder Arnold.

Lawrence, D., and Kisely, S., 2010. Review: Inequalities in healthcare provision for people with severe mental illness. Journal of psychopharmacology, 24(4 suppl), 61-68., 2014. Improved safety measures by mental health services help to reduce suicide rates | The University of Manchester. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Oct. 2014]., 2014. Suicide. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2014]., 2014. Suicide - Causes - NHS Choices. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2014].

Qin, P., 2005. Suicide risk in relation to the level of urbanity a population-based linkage study. International journal of epidemiology, 34(4), pp.846-852.

SHER, L., 2004. Preventing suicide. QJM International Journal of Medicine, 97, pp.677-680., 2014. WHO | Depression. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Oct. 2014].

Wilson, M., 2011. Suicide: A Unique Epidemic in Japan. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, 7.

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