K-pop star and actor Choi Jin-ri (known as Sulli) has died by suspected suicide at the age of 25, according to a statement from SM Entertainment, on Monday in South Korea. The Guardian reported police said the singer was experiencing “severe depression” at the time of her death and “it seems that she took her own life but we are also looking into other possibilities.”
Sulli is perhaps best known as a member of the K-pop girl group f(x) from 2009 to 2015. She was also a child actress and had acting roles after her departure from f(x). In June, Sulli released her first solo track, “Goblin.” Sulli was outspoken about many issues, including her mental health. In 2018 she shared during a reality TV interview she struggled with a panic disorder as a child. Her decision to leave f(x) was also in part due to her mental health, according to the Guardian.
In recent years, other K-pop singers have spoken out about mental health, especially following the death of Kim Jong-hyun (known as Jonghyun), the lead singer SHINee. Jonghyun died by suicide in 2017. As of 2016, 40 people die by suicide in South Korea every day. Of the 90% who died by suicide who likely had a mental illness, only 15% received treatment. K-pop stars from BTS’ Suga and RM to Super Junior’s Leeteuk and Heechul, and solo artist Younha have started sharing their experiences with mental health to raise awareness, according to Billboard.
Fans and colleagues reacted to Sulli’s death on Twitter and shared condolences.
Praying for Sulli, her family, friends, fans, and loved ones. Rest In Peace
— ????NIHS ˥ƎINƎԀ???? (@PenielShin) October 14, 2019
One of the bravest and brightest. Rest In Peace.
— 지민지민지민 (@jiminpark07) October 14, 2019
Deepest condolences to Sulli’s family and loved ones.
Rest In Peace Sulli.
삼가 고인의 명복을 빕니다.
— Kevin Woo (@Kevinwoo91) October 14, 2019
If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.