Number of suicides in Belarus has fallen by almost 10% (9.6%). As it was told by the director of the Republican Research Centre for Mental Health Sergei Igumnov on March 23, the number of suicides was 2.474 last year against 2.730 in 2009. "Rate of suicides has, respectively, decreased from 28.4 to 26.1 per 100 thousand people," he said.
«Clearly, these are tragic figures, but the number of suicides in absolute terms used to amount to 3.5 thousand people in Belarus before,» BelaPAN quotes Sergei Igumnov.
«Post-Soviet slavic countries — Russia, Belarus and Ukraine — are among the world leaders in suicidal behavior. The leader is Lithuania, where the suicide rate reaches 46-48 cases per 100 thousand population. According to World Health Organization, the state is considered the country with high suicide rate, if this indicator is above 20 cases per 100 thousand people,» said the expert.
In turn, the head of the Moscow Center for Crisis Psychology, Mikhaill Khasminski, pointed to the problem of media’s influence on the growing number of suicides. «Scientific research proves that the publication and reports about suicides may provoke people who are prone to suicide. He believes that the Soviet press’s stand-off from the issues of suicide, maniacs and the large-scale violations played a preventive role in many ways,» said Mikhail Khasminski.
Sergei Igumnov suggested, in turn, that the media was not informed about the facts of suicide, as well as of the services, providing psychological assistance, helpline. However, he noted that the number of suicides in the USSR was not low. Nearly 80 thousand people committed suicide in 1984. For comparison: the loss of the USSR in the Afghan war amounted to about 15 thousand people.