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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The problem of children’s suicides requires unique solutions

In 2016 were 60-percent jump in the number of children’s suicides. If the overall situation with suicides in Russia is improving for many years, the problem of children’s suicides, according to statistics, has only worsened, and in the recent past. What is happening with our children and what steps we should take?

During a conference call in the National control centre in crisis situations of the Ministry of emergency situations On “the prevention of suicide among minors” Commissioner for the rights of the child Anna Kuznetsova has reported a very alarming figure: in the past, 2016, the number of child and teenage suicides in the country increased by almost 60 percent.

In General, the situation with suicides in Russia keeps its long-term positive trend. According to the Federal state statistics service, in 2016, the country ended a 22 839 people (compared to 24 982 in 2015). As a result, the rate of suicides on 100 thousand people fell from 17.1% in 2015 to 15.6 in 2016. If in the 1990s the country was ranked second in the world in the frequency of suicides in 2013 – fourteenth, and in 2016-m – thirties already.

Against this background, almost 60% increase in child suicides is particularly egregious. However, before “waving a sword”, it is necessary to clarify a number of points.

First, the Commissioner for the rights of the child has not indicated what age group there was such a massive jump in suicides, it concerns all minor or relates to some particular age group (usually isolated 10-14 and 15-19 years). Second, Kuznetsova is likely to have talked about the General number of suicides, and not on the relative indicator (per 100 thousand people).

At the same time, even regardless of the aforementioned circumstances, a 60% annual increase in suicide rates cannot be explained by any “objective” factors, such as the increase in the number of the relevant age group.

The data on mortality of the population (click to enlarge)

Kuznetsova reason mentioned that the rate of child suicide has been steadily decreasing in the period from 2011 to 2015. The theme of children’s suicides in the country back in early 2010-ies, has become the subject of governmental attention. If the General suicide rate, the situation becomes more prosperous from year to year, Russia has joined the group of countries with medium level of suicides, the level of child country is not the first decade is one of the first places in the world. The Russian situation in this question is almost three times worse than the global average: according to the beginning of the 2010s among children 10-14 years the rate of suicide is 2.5 for every 100 thousand, and among adolescents 15-19 years is 16.3.

In this regard, so important words Kuznetsova that in 2016, was actually derailed a five-year effort to reduce child suicides, when for several years there was a 10 percent decrease.

As you know, the Commissioner for the rights of the child laid much of the blame for what is happening in the “group of death” in social networks that use psychological problems of the younger generation to involve children in games with a suicidal outcome. Such a massive surge of child suicide suggests that she is far from the truth, because it all seems engulfed the young generation fashion. However, it is likely that this wave will subside, and the “trend” of suicides will take place.

Kuznetsov also mentioned the problem of the lack of a psychologist almost in half of Russian schools. However, how effective in the matter may be the work of the psychologist, is an open question.

In fact voiced by the Commissioner for children’s rights issue indicates two main areas of work for the state and for families.

On the one hand, the state is frankly not kept pace with modern technologies that make it possible to form a destructive community, involving a large number of adolescents. Simple bans solve the problem would be impossible. It is necessary to create promptly the existing effective tools, which would face this threat. Meanwhile, expressing ideas for dealing with the problem are mainly in line with the traditional bureaucratic measures, for example, the Cabinet supported the tougher penalties for inducing children to suicide. Although it is, of course, necessary.

But on the other hand, in the end, the main instrument of the salvation of children remains a family. And this, in turn, puts on the agenda the eternal questions about the relationship of parental control and respect for the personal space of the child and the argument about the respect of private life of their child to cover the unwillingness of parents to take in his problems.


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