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Chingusai starts “마음연결” (Heart Connection)

A suicide prevention program for sexual minorities

A suicide prevention program for sexual minorities

Living in Korea as a member of the LGBTQ community is extremely harsh, to say the least. Although it’s true that society has changed for the better in the last few years, we still endure violence in schools, in the military (if you’re a gay man) and in the workplace. I used to
think about suicide when I was younger—saying to myself: “All this would be over if I could just die.” I felt like I was alone in the world because I was gay. I was really lucky in the sense that I had a lot of good friends who were there for me. With them, I cried a lot and
I drank like crazy but I survived those days of depression. But what if I hadn’t been so lucky? Who would I have turned to? Chingusai, one of Korea’s biggest LBGTQ rights organizations, recently
opened an online service called Heart Connection for those who need a shoulder to lean on. The service is open to people of all ages and everything is completely confidential. It allows you to post in a forum and guarantees that a professional counselor will respond within 48 hours. While the site is only in Korean only and solely available in this format right now, they are preparing to launch a suicide prevention hotline soon. Although suicide rates in Korea are the highest among OECD member countries, it’s often quoted that that average is ten times greater among LGBTQ youth. Organizations such as Dding Ddong and Chingusai are leading the way for change, but they can’t do it alone, they need support as well as funding. To donate, please visit: chingusai.net.

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