A third of those who commit suicide are new immigrants, most of them from Ethiopia, according to evidence heard on Wednesday in the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee.
The crisis of moving from one country to another brings many emotional crises, but many immigrants are afraid of being labeled as mentally ill so they avoid going for help, said committee chairman Avraham Naguise (Likud). In addition, the lack of speakers of their language, especially Amharic for Ethiopian immigrants, makes it difficult for them to get help.
The share of new immigrants (defined as those in the country for less than five years) among all those hospitalized in mental health centers was 8.81 percent in 2010, but it fell to 5.12% last year among men and fell from 9.85% in 2010 to 5.68% for women. This was not because they had fewer problems, according to research carried out in the Knesset, but because there are fewer social workers who speak Amharic.
Many of the new immigrants who committed suicide 30 years ago were from the Soviet Union, but today, their place has been taken largely by Ethiopian immigrants.