Nonprofit group says Pokemon Go discourages suicides in Japan

Pokemon gone?

Let’s stop fussing over what Pokemon Go is being dragged into court over and focus on something it’s apparently, if inadvertently, doing right: suicide prevention.

The Japan Times reported over the weekend that the head of a suicide prevention agency in Japan, Yukio Shige, claims that a notorious suicide hotspot in Fukui Prefecture (with allegedly 120 deaths in the last decade) has seen fewer suicide attempts in the last two months since Pokemon Go launched. Shige argues that the designation of Tojinbo — that’s the cliff-top park in question — as a PokeStop has brought local traffic and players to the area, which in turn has changed the atmosphere into a lively one incongruous with self-harm. The Times reports,

“[Shige] said the effect of Pokemon Go is noticeable in that he did not encounter any suicidal visitors in August. Although he spotted seven such people in September, one of them told him the atmosphere ‘was not quite right for committing suicide.'”

Shige further noted he hopes other known suicide destinations in the country will also become PokeStops and widen the presumed effect.

Source: Japan Times via VG247
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