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The mental health of Ukrainians is worsening


During the past ten years the state of mental health of Ukrainian citizens has noticeably deteriorated – this negative trend has been reported by Ukrainian psychiatrists.

In particular, according to words of Roman Nikiforuk, the head doctor of Kyiv psychiatric hospital No. 1, “before 2000 one could observe the apparent increase of suicidal attempts, especially in the army, and only in past 5 years this tendency has started to decrease a little”.

Roman Nikiforuk connects this fact with the reduction of armed forces and the decrease of military service term.

Besides, according to the statistical data, suicide rate among the workers of law-enforcing organs has grown from 13 persons for 100000 of population in 1990 to 21. The invalidity in connection with psychical diseases has also increased from 500 to 522 for 100000 of population.

By words of Roman Nikiforuk, Ukrainian psychiatrists are especially anxious about the increment of number of alcoholics and drug addicts among Ukrainians. “During past 10 years, only by the official data, the number of drug addicts has become 3.3 times greater. Yet, unofficial number is ten times more”, says the doctor.

He also points out that the number of alcoholics has increased twice in comparison with 1995. The main features of such increase are, in his opinion, the mortality from cirrhosis, number of suicides, road accidents and crimes committed in the state of alcoholic intoxication. This situation is caused by the low living standard, unemployment and propaganda of alcohol, in particular, by advertising. The cases of suicide in the state of alcoholic intoxication are most frequently fixed in big industrial cities and in countryside.

By the data of psychiatrists, the rate of mental deficiency among children is also growing. In particular, the proportion of children registered as psychiatric patients has increased for 30%. Among adults the number of people, who are on the verge of nervous breakdown, has risen very much.

Ukrainska Pravda

11 August 2005

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