Jonghyun’s tragic death on December 18 has sparked a much-needed conversation about mental health issues in the K-pop industry.
Speaking out at a press conference Apink’s Eunji opened up about her worries at some of her colleagues identifying with Jonghyun’s feelings in his final suicide note.
“I was not close friends with Jonghyun but tears were falling as I read the article,” she told reporters at a junket for JTBC’s new drama Untouchable. “What is scarier is that my colleagues and friends identify a lot with his final letter that was revealed.”
“Seeing my colleagues who say they identify with the feeling of depression and that emotion gnawing away at them, I was scared as I thought, ‘What if?’… I may not be able to express the emotions as much as his family or members, but I think many of my colleagues will feel the same way as me.”
She continued, “I hope that the idol and entertainment industry will grow to encourage physical and mental health so that something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Her co-star Park Geun Hyung added: “I also had such thoughts when I was young. I had a similar experience. I hope something like this doesn’t happen again and that it will become an era where we can express freely and be free individuals while taking time for ourselves.”