Russia must tackle 'critical' suicide rate: experts

Russia must launch a public health campaign to reduce the country's suicide rate, among the highest in the world, top psychiatrists said on Thursday.

In 2010, the suicide rate reached 23.5 per 100,000 people, the sixth highest in the world and well above the "critical" limit of 20 set by the , Boris Polozhy of the Serbsky told a news conference in Moscow.

The suicide rate peaked in Russia during the economic and social maelstrom of the 1990s after the breakup of the Soviet Union, when the rate rose to 42 per 100,000 in 1995.

But the high rates have remained stable among children, with the suicide rate standing at 20 per 100,000 among 15-19 year-olds, against a global average of 7.3, said Polozhy, who heads a mental health research centre at the hospital.

The world average suicide rate for adults is 14 per 100,000, Polozhy told journalists.

Experts urged Russia to introduce a public health campaign aimed at prevention of suicides, which they said could be put in place in the next two years.

But they complained that the Russian government was too slow to change and had not made any real progress.

It will likely take Russia "five to 10 years" to launch a state-funded programme, said Zurab Kekelidze, the health ministry's chief psychiatrist and the acting head of the hospital.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russian speakers top suicide list

Jun 22, 2007

Demographers have determined that Russian language speakers are more likely to commit suicide than any other group in the world.

China's suicide rate 'among highest in world'

Sep 08, 2011

A person tries to kill themselves in China every two minutes, the government and state media said Thursday, giving the country one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

Suicide spikes for U.S. middle-aged

Feb 19, 2008

A five-year study on suicide in the United States found a 20 percent increase in the suicide rate among 45-to-54-year-olds, out-pacing any other age group.

Recommended for you

Lift weights, improve your memory

9 hours ago

Here's another reason why it's a good idea to hit the gym: it can improve memory. A new Georgia Institute of Technology study shows that an intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic ...

Fat chats: The good, the bad and the ugly comments

11 hours ago

Cyberbullying and hurtful 'fat jokes' are disturbingly prevalent in the social media environment, especially on Twitter, says Wen-ying Sylvia Chou of the National Institutes of Health in the US. Chou is lead ...

User comments