(Above) Victims of charter fraud on the edge of a cliff
This year, four victims of charter fraud died in Michuhol-gu, Incheon alone. When red flags were turned on for the mental health of victims of charter fraud, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Housing and Urban Guarantee Corporation (HUG), and local governments scrambled to find psychological support measures. However, many victims who face a painful reality every day said that the effectiveness of such psychological support did not reach them.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport operated the ‘Visit Charter Damage Assistance Consultation Bus’ in Michuhol-gu, Incheon, from April 21st to 31st of last month. Incheon City also organized a ‘Safe Heart Visit Bus’ to Michuhol-gu intensively for a month until the 19th of last month.
Due to the nature of the counseling bus, which runs during the week and during working hours, access is not easy for victims with a living. Mr. A, a man in his 30s who was found to be in the high suicide risk group (15 points or more) as a result of a survey conducted by the Kyunghyang Shinmun, said, “I often stay in a daze at work. ” he did.
Unfortunately, it didn’t always run. The Mind-Safe Bus operated by Incheon City is operated in a way that is organized when there is a request from an autonomous region. Consultation buses operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport have also decided to move to other areas starting this month.
Even if they received counselling, many victims said it was ‘not helpful’. In a situation where economic difficulties have not been resolved, there is a limit to receiving help with one-time counselling.
Han Sang-yong (53), a victim of charter fraud in Michuhol-gu, visited the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s consultation bus at Jemulpo Station in Incheon last month. Mr. Han belonged to the mental health ‘high risk group’ in the self-diagnosis checklist carried out at the time. But he still didn’t find the bus. This is because I thought, “Counseling is not very helpful.” The adviser said, “Don’t focus too much on buying a charter, and take advantage of other hobbies, like going on a trip from time to time.” Mr. said Han could not get rid of the thought, ‘I lost my footing in the chartered fraud, and there is no bird to have another hobby’.
Kim Byeong-ryeol, vice chairman of the Michuhol-gu Charter Fraud Damage Countermeasures Committee, had a similar experience. Mental health counselors who attended the meeting of the damage countermeasure committee, organized by the Michuhol-gu Office, conducted photo counseling. Counselors sent crayons to the Harm Countermeasures Committee, saying, “Give them to the psychologically unstable.” Vice Chairman Kim said, “I was grateful that they came, but I thought what kind of use is that to people who are having a hard time making a living.”
Experts pointed out that the one-time counseling service could not “touch” charter fraud victims who are experiencing disaster-like trauma. Baek Jong-woo, professor of psychiatry at Kyung Hee University Hospital, said, “It is easy for victims to accept the meaning of psychological counseling in a situation where they have lost all their belongings.”
There was also a suggestion that assemblies such as the ‘Victim Countermeasures Committee’ should be more active so that victims do not go alone. Jeong Chan-seung, special director of social contribution of the Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, said, “The most important thing to be wary of is isolating victims.” It should be provided,” he said.
If you have difficulties that are difficult to talk about, such as depression, or if you have a family or acquaintance who is experiencing these difficulties, call the suicide prevention helpline ☎1393, mental health helpline ☎1577 -0199, hope phone ☎129, life phone ☎1588-9191, teenagers You can receive expert counseling 24 hours a day by phone at ☎1388, the mobile counseling program for teenagers, ‘Dog will listen’, and KakaoTalk.