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March 2012
The International Association of Ethnopsychologists and Ethnopsychotherapists (IAEE)

Problems of mental health of children in the far north of Siberia

The lives of people in the northern regions are subjected to so-called “multi-factorial northern stress”. Living in the north may be compared with the life of a person under conditions of deprivation (deficit). This is one of the most important factors in the growth of psychopathological manifestations of childhood in the region. The “Northern” children have weaker bio-adaptive mechanisms which are responsible for the harmonious development of structures of the nervous system. Thirty-five to forty percent of children are discharged from the maternity hospital with the diagnosis of “risk of nervous system impairment” and during the first year of their life or subsequent years almost the same number of children are diagnosed with “perinatal nervous system impairment” or “small brain dysfunction”. The outcome of climatic aggression may be called somatic weakness of the “northern” children. The return to the system of family values is the most important problem. The social-economic conditions of the contemporary life dictate the choice of the active model of social-positive behavior of all persons responsible for mental health of growing generation.

This will be a part of my presentation in London this March at the 3rd World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry. Russia will be represented by a group of scientists from Tomsk, Russia with the symposium “Ethnocultural problems of mental health of youth in Russia”.

Valentin Semke  

President of the IAEE

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