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MOSCOW, February 9 (Itar-Tass) — Russian ombudsman for children's rights Pavel Astakhov has called on the health and science ministry to develop urgent programs for prevention of suicides among adolescents.
In recent days two teenage schoolgirls and a youngster have committed suicides in the Moscow region. On February 7 two schoolgirls joined their hands and jumped from the roof of a 16- storied apartment building in Lobnya, a settlement north of Moscow. In a separate incident, late on February 8 a 15- year-old youngster jumped down from the window of his apartment on the 16th floor in the south of Moscow.
Immediately after the tragic incident in which the two schoolgirls died Astakhov urged to begin work for prevention of suicide attempts in Russia. "Our country cannot ignore such a number of suicides. Growing suicides aroused a need for urgent measures taken by the government," Astakhov warned on Thursday, describing the situation, which developed as "extraordinary".
He urged for maximally detailed investigation into every suicide attempt - establishing what caused the suicide - either the situation in the suicide's family, problems at school or relations with the suicide’s classmates. "Children if facing a critical situation should not be left with their problem one-on-one, they need help, above all, from professionals - psychologists and psychiatrists without whom suicide prevention is impossible," Astakhov said.
Russia is in the sixth place in the world in the number of completed suicides after Lithuania, Korea, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Japan, but Russia accounts for the highest number of suicides committed by adolescents. Russia has the worst death rates in Europe caused by youngsters ' suicides, and it is one of the countries with the highest number of children’s suicides in the world.