Russian speakers top suicide list

June 22, 2007

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

The State Statistics Service said Russia, with a suicide rate of 32 people in every 100,000, ranks behind only Lithuania and Belarus in the number of people who kill themselves each year, the Moscow Times reported Friday.

Since 1970, the number of people committing suicide in Russia has surpassed the number dying from accidental alcohol poisoning or murder.

The suicide rate has been dropping steadily, however, since the reaching record highs in the 1990s. The peak of 41 suicides per 100,000 people in 1995 was linked to turmoil surrounding the Soviet collapse, the newspaper said.

Psychologists say increased satisfaction with economic circumstances has played a key role in the growth in positive sentiment in Russia. Many people, however, continue to suffer from a lack of close-knit networks of families or friends and the near-absence of crisis centers offering free counseling.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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