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UNICEF says about 20 percent Russian teens susceptible to serious depression

(Xinhua)

15:57, February 14, 2012

MOSCOW, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- About 20 percent of Russian teenagers are susceptible to serious depression, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday.

According to UNICEF's report presented at a press conference here, the percentage of depressed teenagers in Russia is much higher than the level in the western European countries, where 5 percent of young people suffer from depression.

UNICEF mentioned growth of mental illness and mortality among Russian teens, saying this figure is three to five times higher than in the majority of the European countries.

Alcohol and drug addiction are both symptoms and causes of Russian teenagers' mental problems, the UNICEF report said.

It added the teen suicide ratio in Russia stands at 30.5 cases per 100,000 people a year, far exceeding the global average of 10 cases per 100,000.

In the last two weeks, several Russian children in their school age committed suicides. Local officials and experts say one of the reasons behind the wave of suicides is a "media and Internet- created subculture" which depicts suicide as a "romantic act".

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