Results of research on causes of destructive behaviour of young people carried out by Saint Petersburg State University upon request of Investigative Committee presented in Saint Petersburg

The Saint Petersburg State University hosted a presentation of materials of cross-disciplinary survey “Self-Destructive Behaviour of Teenagers: Reasons and Prevention”. The survey was initiated by the Investigative Committee of Russia and carried out by specialists of the Saint Petersburg State University based on materials of probes investigated by the Committee.

The event was attended by Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin; his senior assistant Igor Komissarov; children’s Ombudsman for Russian Federation Anna Kuznetsova; Vice-Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Govorunov; First Vice-Rector of the Saint Petersburg State University Ilya Dementyev; Saint Petersburg children’s Ombudsman Svetlana Agapitova; scientists of the Saint Petersburg State University; representatives of state law enforcement agencies and armed forces; and other invitees.

Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin noted: “It is a very trending subject. The matter is the sense of loneliness the child faces. Such actions frighten us with their regularity. This survey is a first stage of a big work the government is to do to change this situation.”

The results of the survey will help investigators in their practical work. Particularly, they will be used for carrying out procedural probes and investigation of probes into children harming themselves. They will also help in planning and carrying out procedural actions concerning minors. The survey will also help improve work on prevention of suicidal and self-destructive behaviour of minors.

During the event, experts underlined the necessity and importance of public awareness and informing of specialists that work with children - doctors, teachers, and psychologists. At the moment, information on suicides is published only in relation to tragedies that have already occurred, and usually parents and teachers don’t know what to do if they notice unusual behaviour of a child that looks disturbing. “If you are a parent or a specialist in search of recommendations on the Internet, there are no such recommendations on behalf of specialists - such as what you need to do, who you need to contact, what changes you need to make in your own behaviour as a specialist, a teacher, a psychologist, or a social worker; there are only discussions at parental forums,” researcher and Associated Professor of the Saint Petersburg State University Maya Rusakova underlined.

The presentation was followed by an exchange of opinions where the participants agreed that there was a need for a complex approach to the said issues related to destructive behaviour of young people as well as for accumulation of efforts of all institutions to develop a multi-level structure for prevention that will benefit the younger generation.

The Investigative Committee of Russia and the Saint Petersburg State University intend to start developing a prevention programme taking into account the views of experts from relevant agencies. The programme might be launched in Saint Petersburg on a trial basis and - in the case of successful implementation - will be continued in other constituents of the Russian Federation.