Iran Focus: Tehran, Sep. 20 – A series of government-released statistics and interviews with a number of Iranian officials indicate that despair and frustration are on the rise within
Iran’s huge under-30 population.
The head of the government-run National Youth Organization told local journalists last week that “according to our studies, forty percent of young people across the country suffer from depression.” Iran Focus

Tehran, Sep. 20 – A series of government-released statistics and interviews with a number of Iranian officials indicate that despair and frustration are on the rise within Iran’s huge under-30 population.

The head of the government-run National Youth Organization told local journalists last week that “according to our studies, forty percent of young people across the country suffer from depression.”

Rahim Ebadi said the main causes of depression among young people were widespread unemployment and lack of opportunities for higher education.

“Of the two million high school graduates who take part in the national university entrance exams every year, only 150,000 find a place in universities and institutes of higher education,” Ebadi said. “This means that more than half of the students are under great stress and suffer from depression, because they see no future for themselves.”

The National Youth Organization’s website identifies “despair and hopelessness” as one of the main causes of rising suicide rates among young people in Iran.

A senior official in the Ministry of Education told the daily Aftab-e Yazd on Saturday that 28 percent of high school students in the country drop out before finishing their studies.

“The main reason for this is the lack of educational facilities,” said the deputy minister for theoretical education.

A new study in Iran has found that the largest number of suicide attempts occurs in the age group 15 to 19, with women outnumbering men by a wide margin. Iran has the highest rate of suicide in the world. The study was conducted by lecturers at the medical school of Ahwaz University. Dr. Mohammad Fakour, who headed the research, said drug overdose and poison were the most common methods in suicide cases.

The fact that suicide among Iranian women is far more common than men is a reflection of social pressures on them, according to Dr. Ziba Nouri, a sociologist based in Tehran. “This is a misogynous regime imposing a very brutal system of gender discrimination,” she said. “It’s only natural to find despair and anger building up in women.”