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ACT ON THE PREVENTION OF SUICIDE AND THE CREATION OF CULTURE OF RESPECT FOR LIFE

Act No. 10516, Mar. 30, 2011

Amended by Act No. 14224, May 29, 2016

Act No. 14561, Feb. 8, 2017

Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to protect people's invaluable life and create a culture of respect for life by providing necessary matters for responsibilities and suicide preventive policies at a national level.
 Article 2 (Basic Policies)
(1) In establishing a policy for the prevention of suicide, priority shall be given to multilateral preventive measures in which all governmental organs shall take part and which shall be specific to each gender, each age group, each social class, and each category of motive, taking into consideration extraordinary conditions of individuals who are exposed to the risk of suicide.
(2) In establishing a policy on the prevention of suicide, priority shall also be given to the diffusion of knowledge of bioethics and a culture of respect for life, the promotion of a sound mind and values, and the improvement of sociocultural awareness thereof.
 Article 3 (Citizens' Rights and Duties)
(1) If a citizen is at risk of suicide or finds him/herself at risk of suicide, he/she has a right to request the central government or a local government to support him/her.
(2) Citizens shall fully cooperate with the central government or a local government in establishing and implementing policies for the prevention of suicide and shall take measures to rescue a person who is found highly likely to commit suicide.
 Article 4 (Responsibilities of State and Local Governments)
(1) The State and each local government shall formulate policies necessary for actively rescuing persons who are at risk, or are found likely to be at risk, of suicide (hereinafter referred to as "persons likely to commit suicide") from the danger.
(2) The State and each local government shall formulate and implement policies on each stage of measures for the prevention of suicide, countermeasures against probable occurrences of suicide, and measures that shall be taken after a suicide or an attempted suicide. In such cases, measures to protect a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or the family members of a person who committed suicide shall be included in such policies. <Amended by Act No. 14561, Feb. 8, 2017>
 Article 5 (Business Owners' Responsibilities)
(1) Each business owner shall cooperate with the central government and local governments fully in policies implemented by them for the prevention of suicide.
(2) Each business owner shall endeavor to take measures necessary to maintain the mental health of workers employed by him/her.
 Article 6 (Relationship to other Acts)
Except as otherwise specifically provided for by other Acts, the prevention of suicide and the establishment and enforcement of policies thereon shall be governed by this Act.
CHAPTER II ESTABLISHMENT, ETC. OF MASTER PLAN
 Article 7 (Formulation of Master Plan for Prevention of Suicide)
(1) The State shall formulate a master plan for the prevention of suicide (hereinafter referred to as "Master Plan") every five years to effectively promote a policy for the prevention of suicide. <Amended by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
(2) The Master Plan shall include the following matters: <Amended by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
1. Creation of a culture of respect for life;
2. Development and distribution of a manual for counseling on suicide;
3. Measures for the prevention of suicide of each life-cycle stage, such as children, juveniles, middle-aged persons, and older persons;
4. Promotion of mental health through management of depression and drug addiction;
5. Establishment of a system for the prevention of suicide by information and communications media and other various media;
6. Discovery, treatment, and follow-up management of persons likely to commit suicide and persons who attempted suicide;
7. Establishment of a suicide monitoring system;
8. Control on suicide methods;
9. Education and training on the prevention of suicide;
10. Assistance in research on the prevention of suicide;
11. A scheme for the designation and operation of central and local collaborative institutions;
12. Formulation of guidelines for news reports on suicide by the media and measures to ensure that such guidelines are implemented;
13. Other matters necessary to take measures for the prevention of suicide.
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall prepare a Master Plan in consultation with the heads of related central administrative agencies and shall finalize such Master Plan after deliberation by the Suicide Prevention Policy Committee established under Article 10-2. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall notify without delay the heads of related central administrative agencies and the Special Metropolitan City Mayor, Metropolitan City Mayors, Do Governors, and the Special Self-Governing Province Governor (hereinafter referred to as "Mayors/Do Governors") of the finalized Master Plan.
 Article 8 (Formulation and Execution of Annual Implementation Plans)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare, the head of each related central administrative agency, and each Mayor/Do Governor shall formulate and execute an implementation plan each year for the prevention of suicide (hereinafter referred to as "implementation plan") respectively in accordance with the Master Plan.
(2) The head of each related central administrative agency and each Mayor/Do Governor shall annually submit an implementation plan for the following year and a report on the results of the execution of the implementation plan for the previous year, to the Minister of Health and Welfare, as prescribed by Presidential Decree, and the Minister of Health and Welfare shall assess the results of the execution of implementation plans each year and finalize the results thereof after deliberation by the Suicide Prevention Policy Committee established under Article 10-2. <Amended by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
(3) Necessary matters regarding the formulation and execution of implementation plans and the assessment of the results of the execution of such plans shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 9 (Adjustment, etc. of City/Do Implementation Plans)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall make adjustments on an implementation plan of the Special Metropolitan City, a Metropolitan City, a Do, or a Special Self-Governing Province (hereinafter referred to as "City/Do") in accordance with the Master Plan and shall check the current status of performance of the plan.
(2) If a City/Do implementation plan contravenes the Master Plan or an implementation plan of a central administrative agency, the Minister of Health and Welfare may request the competent Mayor/Do Governor to revise it.
 Article 10 (Cooperation in Establishment of Plans)
(1) If it is necessary to establish, execute and assess the Master Plan or an implementation plan, the Minister of Health and Welfare, the head of a related central administrative agency, or a Mayor/Do Governor may request the head of a related central administrative agency, a local government, a related public institution, or any other organization involved in activities for the prevention of suicide to submit relevant data and cooperate with him/her if necessary.
(2) A person who is requested to cooperate under paragraph (1) shall comply with the request, unless any justifiable reason exists otherwise.
 Article 10-2 (Suicide Prevention Policy Committee)
(1) The Suicide Prevention Policy Committee (hereafter in this Article referred to as the "Committee") shall be established under the Prime Minister to deliberate on important matters regarding a policy for the prevention of suicide.
(2) The Committee shall deliberate on the following:
1. Matters regarding mid- and long-term objectives of a policy for the prevention of suicide and directions of pursuing such policy;
2. Matters regarding the formulation of the Master Plan;
3. Matters regarding the assessment of the results of the execution of implementation plans;
4. Matters regarding cooperation and coordination between related Ministries on a policy for the prevention of suicide;
5. Matters regarding public-private partnerships related to a policy for the prevention of suicide;
6. Other matters regarding a policy for the prevention of suicide, which are referred by the chairperson to the Committee.
(3) The Committee shall be comprised of not more than 25 members, including one chairperson.
(4) The Prime Minister shall serve as the chairperson of the Committee and the following persons shall be the members thereof:
1. The heads of related central administrative agencies prescribed by Presidential Decree;
2. Persons commissioned by the Prime Minister from among those with abundant knowledge and experience in the prevention of suicide.
(5) Where necessary to deliberate on a policy for the prevention of suicide, the Committee may request related administrative agencies to provide materials. In such cases, the heads of the related administrative agencies so requested shall comply therewith unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.
(6) A working committee shall be established under the Committee to efficiently perform the affairs thereof.
(7) Matters necessary for the composition, operation, etc. of the Committee and working committee shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018]
CHAPTER III MEASURES FOR PREVENTION OF SUICIDE, ETC.
 Article 11 (Fact-Finding Surveys on Suicide)
(1) In order to grasp the actual situation of suicide and needs and demands for services for the prevention of suicide, the State and each local government shall conduct a fact-finding survey on suicide once every five years and shall announce the results thereof to the public.
(2) The fact-finding survey on suicide under paragraph (1) shall include the following: <Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
1. Matters regarding general information on persons to be surveyed, such as gender, age, educational background, marital status, and the state of employment;
2. Matters regarding risk factors of suicide of persons to be surveyed, such as thoughts about suicide and the number of attempts to commit suicide;
3. Matters regarding the impacts that news reports on suicide by the media have on suicide, such as newspapers, broadcasting, and the Internet;
4. Other matters necessary to grasp the actual situation of suicide and needs and demands for services for the prevention of suicide.
(3) Matters necessary for conducting a fact-finding survey on suicide under paragraphs (1) and (2), announcement of the results thereof, the details of such survey, etc. shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
 Article 11-2 (Psychological Autopsy)
The State and each local government may conduct a psychological autopsy for analyzing the causes of suicide based on psychological and behavioral changes, etc. before and after suicide to formulate an effective policy for the prevention of suicide and to provide psychological support to a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or the family members of a person who committed suicide. In such cases, consent to such psychological autopsy shall be obtained in advance from the person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or the family members of the person who committed suicide.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 14561, Feb. 8, 2017]
 Article 12 (Establishment of System for Analysis of Statistics and Management of Information of Suicide)
(1) The central government and each local government may designate and operate institutions specializing in survey and research in order to collect, analyze, and manage statistics on suicide.
(2) Matters necessary for the designation of institutions specializing in survey and research under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 12-2 (Post-Management of Persons Who Attempted Suicide)
(1) Where any of the following persons knows of a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or the family members of a person who committed suicide in the course of performing his/her duties, he/she shall provide such person who attempted suicide, etc. with information on related supporting institutions in the competent jurisdiction:
2. An autonomous police official under Article 2 (2) 2 of the Local Public Officials Act;
3. A member of 119 emergency medical services teams under Article 10 of the Act on 119 Rescue and Emergency Medical Services.
(2) Where there is a person who attempted suicide or a person who committed suicide, the chief of a police agency and the head of a fire service agency may provide information on the person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or on the family members of the person who committed suicide to the following institutions in the competent jurisdiction:
1. A suicide prevention center under Article 13;
3. Other institutions prescribed by Presidential Decree, which perform affairs related to the prevention of suicide.
(3) The head of an institution referred to in the subparagraphs of paragraph (2) may request the chief of a police agency, the head of a fire service agency, the head of a local government, the head of a medical institution, or the head of any other related institution to provide information on a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or on the family members of a person who committed suicide. In such cases, the head of the institution so requested shall comply therewith unless there is good cause.
(4) Where information on a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or on the family members of a person who committed suicide is provided under paragraphs (2) and (3), the relevant person’s consent thereto shall be obtained.
(5) The head of an institution referred to in the subparagraphs of paragraph (2) shall provide support, such as counseling, to a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or the family member of a person who committed suicide whose information is provided and shall report the details of support to the Minister of Health and Welfare every year.
(6) To provide necessary support to a person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or the family members of a person who committed suicide pursuant to paragraph (5), the head of an institution referred to in the subparagraphs of paragraph (2) shall designate a person in charge of such duty from among his/her employees: Provided, That, where at least two institutions are provided with information on the same person who attempted suicide and his/her family members or on the family members of the same person who committed suicide, the heads of such institutions may designate the person in charge in consultation with each other.
(7) Matters necessary for the scope, procedures, and method of providing information under paragraphs (1) through (3), consent under paragraph (4), report under paragraph (5), the designation of a person in charge under paragraph (6), etc. shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018]
 Article 13 (Establishment of Suicide Prevention Centers)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare may establish and operate a central suicide prevention center and each Mayor/Do Governor and the head of each Si/Gun/Gu (Gu means an autonomous Gu) may establish and operate a local suicide prevention center (hereinafter referred to as "suicide prevention center") to perform the following work:
1. Counseling on suicide;
2. Mobilization and response to the scene of an anticipated suicide at any time;
3. Follow-up management of persons who attempted suicide;
4. Publicity and education on the prevention of suicide;
5. Training of professional human resources for the prevention of suicide;
6. Other business activities deemed necessary by the Minister of Health and Welfare to prevent suicide.
(2) The State or a local government may establish a suicide prevention center under paragraph (1) in a mental health welfare center under subparagraph 3 of Article 3 of the Act on the Improvement of Mental Health and the Support for Welfare Services for Mental Patients. <Amended by Act No. 14224, May 29, 2016>
(3) The State or a local government may entrust the operation of a suicide prevention center under paragraph (1) to a private entity, as prescribed by Presidential Decree. In such case, the State or a local government may subsidize expenses incurred in performing the entrusted work.
(4) The State and each local government shall install and operate emergency telephone lines for receiving ongoing reports in order to prevent suicide.
(5) Matters necessary for the installation and operation of suicide prevention centers under paragraph (1) and emergency telephone lines under paragraph (4) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 14 (Measures for Assistance to Persons Likely to Commit Suicide and Promotion of Mental Health)
(1) The central government and each local government shall create an environment in which appropriate medical services can be provided to persons at risk of suicide due to a mental disorder.
(2) The central government and each local government shall develop and distribute tools for screening tests of mental health of persons likely to commit suicide.
(3) The central government and each local government shall endeavor to take measures necessary for earlier discovery, counseling, and treatment of persons likely to commit suicide.
(4) Matters necessary for screening tests under paragraph (2) and counseling and treatment under paragraph (3) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
CHAPTER IV CREATION OF CULTURE OF RESPECT FOR LIFE, ETC.
 Article 15 (Creation of Culture of Respect for Life)
In order to create a sociocultural environment of respect for life, the central government and each local government may implement nationwide programs for a culture of respect for life with cooperation of non-governmental organizations engaged in activities for the prevention of suicide.
 Article 16 (Suicide Prevention Day)
(1) The tenth day of September each year shall be designated as Suicide Prevention Day, and one week beginning on Suicide Prevention Day as Suicide Prevention Week in order to promote awareness of the risk of suicide and to create a positive social atmosphere for the prevention of suicide.
(2) The central government and each local government shall endeavor to hold events and conduct educational and promotional programs appropriate for the objectives of Suicide Prevention Day.
 Article 17 (Counseling and Education on Prevention of Suicide)
(1) The heads of the following institutions, organizations, and facilities shall endeavor to conduct counseling and education programs for the prevention of suicide in order to prevent suicide and to create a culture of respect for life:
1. State organs, local governments, and public institutions specified by Presidential Decree;
2. Welfare facilities for older persons under the Welfare of Older Persons Act;
3. Social welfare facilities under the Social Welfare Services Act;
4. Other institutions or organizations specified by Presidential Decree as those that need counseling and educational programs.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare may request the head of a related central administrative agency and the head of a local government to provide counseling and education on the prevention of suicide under paragraph (1) to any of the following persons who performs duties related to persons likely to commit suicide, etc.: <Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
1. A member of 119 rescue squads under Article 8 of the Act on 119 Rescue and Emergency Medical Services and a member of 119 emergency medical services teams under Article 10 of the same Act;
3. An autonomous police official under Article 2 (2) 2 of the Local Public Officials Act;
4. A public official exclusively in charge of social welfare under the Act on the Use and Provision of Social Security Benefits and Search for Eligible Beneficiaries;
5. Other persons prescribed by Presidential Decree, who are deemed those needing counseling and education on the prevention of suicide.
(3) The State and each local government may develop and distribute programs necessary for counseling and education on the prevention of suicide under paragraphs (1) and (2) after reflecting the opinions of persons who attempted suicide or the family members of persons who committed suicide and may grant relevant institutions, organizations, and facilities subsidies to cover all or part of the expenses incurred in counseling and education on the prevention of suicide within budgetary limits. <Amended by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
(4) Matters necessary for counseling and education on the prevention of suicide and the methods and contents of such counseling and education under paragraphs (1) and (2), developing and distributing programs and granting subsidies under paragraph (3), etc. shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. <Amended by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
 Article 18 (Publicity for Prevention of Suicide)
The central government and each local government shall take measures necessary for helping people understand the prevention of suicide through education and publicity-related activities.
 Article 19 (Establishment of System for Protection from Harmful Information about Suicide)
(1) The central government and each local government shall establish and operate a system for protecting people from harmful information about suicide in order to block the distribution of harmful information about suicide as referred to in the following subparagraphs, discover such information earlier, and promptly take countermeasures against such information:
1. Information about solicitation of suicide partners;
2. Information that shows a specific method of suicide;
3. Information about commission or inducement of suicide with pictures or video clips;
4. Information about sale of poison;
5. Other information that incites suicide.
(2) Matters necessary for the establishment and operation of the system for protecting people from harmful information about suicide under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 19-2 (Request for Cooperation in Complying with Guidelines for News Reports on Suicide)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare may request the media, such as broadcasting stations, newspapers, magazine publishers, or the Internet newspapers, to cooperate in complying with the guidelines for news reports on suicide under Article 7 (2) 12 in order to prevent the spread of suicide resulting from news reports on suicide.
(2) The media shall actively endeavor to fulfill a request for cooperation under paragraph (1).
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018]
CHAPTER V SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 20 (Assistance to Persons who Attempted Suicide)
(1) The State and each local government may provide psychological counseling and counseling treatment to persons who attempted suicide and their family members or the family members, etc. of persons who committed suicide in order to help them relax a severe psychological impact on them. <Amended by Act No. 14561, Feb. 8, 2017; Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
(2) The State and each local government may grant subsidies for human resources and expenses necessary to operate a self-help group participated in by the family members, etc. of persons who committed suicide. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
 Article 21 (Consideration for Honor and Peace in Life)
In taking measures for preventing suicide, the central government and each local government shall ensure to avoid an undue invasion or violation of honor and peace in the life of persons who committed suicide, persons who attempted suicide, and their family members.
 Article 22 (Training of Professional Human Resources)
The central government and each local government shall endeavor to take measures necessary to train and secure professional human resources for the prevention of suicide and improve their qualities.
 Article 23 (Assistance to Non-Governmental Organizations, etc.)
The central government and each local government may assist activities of organizations that conduct programs for the prevention of suicide.
 Article 24 (Prohibition of Divulgence of Confidential Information)
A person who performed or performs his/her duties under this Act for the prevention of suicide shall not divulge or publish others' confidential information known to him/her in the course of performance of his/her duties.
 Article 24-2 (Cooperation from Related Agencies)
(1) Where necessary to implement a policy for the prevention of suicide and for the creation of a culture of respect for life, the Minister of Health and Welfare, the head of a related central administrative agency, or a Mayor/Do Governor may request the head of a related central administrative agency, a related local government, a related public institution, or any other related agency or organization to provide cooperation.
(2) A person requested to provide cooperation under paragraph (1) shall comply therewith unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018]
CHAPTER VI PENALTY PROVISIONS
 Article 25 (Penalty Provisions)
A person who violates Article 24 shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won. <Amended by Act No. 14561, Feb. 8, 2017>
ADDENDUM
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14224, May 29, 2016>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 21 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 14561, Feb. 8, 2017>
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 15899, Dec. 11, 2018>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation: Provided, That the amended provisions of Article 24-2 shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Transitional Measures concerning Master Plan)
A master plan for the prevention of suicide established under the previous provisions as at the time this Act enters into force shall be deemed a master plan for the prevention of suicide under the amended provisions of Article 7.