Actress Song Yoo-jung’s Suspected Suicide Sheds Light On South Korea’s Mental Health Crises
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South Korean TV actress Song Yoo-jung had died at age 26. Her management agency shared the sad news this week. Her cause of death was not revealed, but it comes after several other young Korean stars have died by suicide in recent years.
The actress’ death has shocked fans and inspired conversation about the pressures faced by young celebrities in South Korea, as well as mental health concerns. Read on to find out more about Song Yoo-jung.
Song Yoo-jung Found Dead At 26
According to the Daily Mail, Song died on Saturday, and a small funeral was held for her. “Actress Song Yoo-jung has left us,” Sublime Agency said in a statement. “Yoo-jung was a friend who always gave us happiness with a bright smile, and an awesome actress who acted with a passion bigger than anyone.”
Song made her acting debut in the TV series Golden Rainbow in 2013. She became known for her role on the show Make a Wish, and also appeared in the series School 2017 and Dear My Name. Song was an advocate for people with disabilities, working with an organization called Warm Accompaniment.
Fans took to Song’s last Instagram post to express their grief over her death. “Behind every smile there’s a hidden story that no one knows,” one fan wrote. “I wish you rest in peace and heal from whatever you were fighting.”
Although we don’t yet know how Song Yoo-jung died, people can’t help but be reminded of the many young stars in South Korea who have died by suicide in recent years.
Several Young South Korean Stars Have Taken Their Own Lives
According to the New York Times, South Korea has the highest suicide rate of the 37 developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Over the past several years, a number of South Korean celebrities have died by suicide.
In 2017, singer Kim Jong-hyun took his own life at age 27 after a battle with depression. K-pop star Sulli died by suicide in 2019 after facing cyberbullying. Her friend Goo Hara also took her own life six weeks later.
“Public entertainers like myself don’t have it easy — we have our private lives more scrutinized than anyone else and we suffer the kind of pain we cannot even discuss with our family and friends,” Goo wrote in a letter before her death.
According to the Daily Mail, taboos around mental illness may prevent people in South Korea from getting help. Suicide is reportedly the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 39.