Suicides, violent deaths and sexual assaults are on the increase in the Middle East and are leading to a "lost generation", a new study has warned.
According to the "Intentional injuries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015: findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015" study, deaths due to self-harm increased by 100 per cent to 30,000 in the past 25 years in the region, and those from interpersonal violence were up 152 per cent to 35,000.
In other parts of the world, the number of suicide deaths rose by 19 per cent and violence between people increased by 12 per cent.
"Intractable and endemic violence is creating a lost generation of children and young adults," said Dr Ali Mokdad, lead author of the study and director for Middle Eastern Initiatives at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The report stressed that the future of the Middle East will be bleak if stability is not achieved.
It added that there has also been a significant increase in mental and mental illness in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The report covers 22 countries in the eastern Mediterranean region, including Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, with a population of 600 million.
On the other hand, the study showed that there is a severe shortage of specialists, including counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists.
In countries such as Libya, Sudan and Yemen, for every 100,000 people there are 0.5 psychiatrists. In comparison, this number rises in European countries to between nine and 40 psychiatrists per 100,000 citizens.