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English

Belarus among world leaders in suicide

Suicide rates in Belarus are among the highest in the world, Anatol Helda, a laboratory head at the National Research and Development Center of Psychiatric Health, said at a “roundtable” discussion held in Minsk on Tuesday, as quoted by BelaPAN.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Belarus had a rate of 27.4 cases per 100,000 population in 2007 compared with Lithuania with 42 cases, Russia with 36 cases, Hungary with 28.5 cases, Kazakhstan with 26.9 cases, Latvia with 26 cases and Ukraine with 25 cases, the world leaders in suicide.

The lowest rates were in Britain that had seven cases per 100,000 population, Malta (six cases), Albania (four), Greece (three), Armenia (2.4), Azerbaijan (0.6) and Egypt (0.1).

According to the WHO’s standards, the number of suicide cases exceeding 19 per 100,000 population a year is considered high. More than 30 suicide cases are critical for the demographic situation.

Between 873,000 to 1,000,000 people commit suicide in the world every year.

Suicides increased by 20.7 percent in number in Belarus last year. There were 28.3 suicides per 100,000 population in Belarus in 2009, with people of working age accounting for 75.8 percent of the total number of suicides.

Unlike in many other countries, the statistics authorities in Belarus take into account suicides committed by legally incapable individuals and mental patients, Mr. Helha said.

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