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Cases of teachers treated for depression rise 180% in four years: data

Teachers to resume nationwide rally on Saturday

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : Sept. 15, 2023 - 17:04

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Teachers attend a rally held in front of the National Assembly in Seoul with flowers to mourn the death of fellow colleagues on Sept. 2. (Yonhap) Teachers attend a rally held in front of the National Assembly in Seoul with flowers to mourn the death of fellow colleagues on Sept. 2. (Yonhap)

The number of cases of teachers getting treated for depression has risen by about 180 percent over the past four years, data showed, another worrying sign that teachers are being pushed to the brink in and outside the classrooms.

According to data from the National Health Insurance Service obtained by Rep. Shin Hyeon-young, the number of cases of teachers getting treated for depression surged 179.4 percent to 158,066, up from 88,127 in 2018. Similarly, the number of cases involving anxiety disorder treatments in 2022 rose by 157 percent to 108,356, up from 69,164 in 2018.

Elementary school teachers sought the most help in all years, from 26,943 cases in 2018 to 53,655 in 2022.

At kindergartens, the number of cases gradually increased from 15,097 to 24,525 in the same period; in middle school from 14,628 to 26,610 and at high schools, from 26,669 to 44,303 cases.

Meanwhile, the teachers' union announced that they will resume a weekly rally to call for a law revision to protect teachers’ rights on Saturday. The rally is to be held in front of the National Assembly.

After a 23-year-old teacher who took her own life in July after suffering from constant complaints from parents, teachers had been holding rallies every Saturday in Seoul, to mourn her death and demand the protection of teachers’ rights in classrooms. The rallies had been halted since Sept. 4.