July 6

Russian Suicide Rate Falling__PetionOnline Stop TeenScreen

The article quotes a researcher from the (once dreaded) Serbsky Psychiatric Institute who, freed from the yoke of Soviet ideological prism, readily identifies an obvious correlation between economic well-being and a lower suicide rate: "This reduction is linked to the stabilization of life… due to oil."

How odd that U.S. psychiatrists don’t seem capable of making that obvious connection.

But then, U.S. psychiatrists have financial  ties to drug manufacturers, and these interests lead them to seek to justify the widespread use of antidepressants.

This conflict of interest has led U.S. psychiatrists to engage in logical contortions when asked to explain fluctuating suicide rates.

 Obvious empirical factors–such as economic stability–are shunned in favor of all manner of (unproven) hypothetical, far fetched biological causes.

The historic record in Russia (Soviet Union, KGB) and the U.S. (CIA) clearly demonstrates that when ideology, an authoritarian regime, and / or a financial stake drives public policy (clinical practice), scientific objectivity, common sense, and ethical standards fall by the wayside.

When science and logic are supplanted by dogma or decree abuses follow.

A current example of mental health abuse is a government-supported screening dragnet.
TeenScreen is an example of a marketing ploy–with an 84% false-positive track record–masquerading as science.
TeenScreen seeks to "catch" children and put them on a lifelong course of psychotropic drugs.
 Those drugs carry black  box warning labels because they have lethal effects.

We ban cigarette vendors and alcohol vendors from our schools–we must not allow the purveyors of mind-altering psychotropic drugs into our schools.

I personally signed the petition against the incursion of TeenScreen into our schools, and urge you to do the same:  http://www.PetitionOnline.com/TScreen/ .

contact Vera Hassner Sharav
veracare@ahrp.org <mailto:veracare@ahrp.org> 
Russia’s oil-driven economic boom is causing a steady reduction in suicides.

Figures for 2004, the last year for which complete statistics are available, show that 49,000 people committed suicide in that year, the Novye Izvestia newspaper said Wednesday, citing the federal statistics service.

This compares with a record 61,000 in 1995, the newspaper said.

Between January and April this year, 12,900 Russians committed suicide, a reduction from 14,000 in the same period last year.

"This reduction is linked to the stabilisation of life… due to oil," the newspaper quoted Vladimir Voitsekh, a researcher into suicide at the Serbsky Psychiatric Institute, as saying.

"But if the oil stops flowing the standard of living will again fall and the number of suicides will increase," he said.

Russia’s Siberian provinces have the highest suicide rates, while the lowest rates are found in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus.

Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse <http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/afp/SIG=122dhv7qk/**http%3A%2F%2Fwww.afp.com%2Fenglish%2Flinks%2F%3Fpid%3Dcopyright> . All rights reserved

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