Does a TV public service advertisement campaign for suicide prevention really work? A case from South Korea

In Han Song, Jung Won You, Ji Eun Kim, Jung Soo Kim, Se Won Kwon, Jong Ik Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: One of the critical measures in suicide prevention is promoting public awareness of crisis hotline numbers so that individuals can more readily seek help in a time of crisis. Although public service advertisements (PSA) may be effective in raising the rates of both awareness and use of a suicide hotline, few investigations have been performed regarding their effectiveness in South Korea, where the suicide rate is the highest among OECD countries. Aims: The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a television PSA campaign. Method: We analyzed a database of crisis phone calls compiled by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare to track changes in call volume to a crisis hotline that was promoted in a TV campaign. We compared daily call counts for three periods of equal length: before, during, and after the campaign. Results: The number of crisis calls during the campaign was about 1.6 times greater than the number before or after the campaign. Relative to the number of suicide-related calls in the previous year, the number of calls during the campaign period surged, displaying a noticeable increase. Conclusion: The findings confirmed that this campaign had a positive impact on call volume to the suicide hotline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Hogrefe Publishing.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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