Long empty hospital corridor (illustrative).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
There has been a decline in the number of suicides from 435 in 2012 to 372 in 2013 – a drop of 18 percent in males and 12% in females – according to the latest available statistics from the Health Ministry. The statistical report also said that the national suicide rate in Israel is the lowest of the 28 countries in the OECD.
In the past decade, such tragedies in boys and young men aged 15 to 24 dropped by half, as it did in women over the age of 75; suicide rates also dropped by 20% in men aged 25 to 44 and women aged 65 to 74 in 2013.
The report did not give an explanation for the decline, but the ministry launched a pilot project a few years ago to reduce suicides and attempts.
Arabs commit suicide at a lower rate than Jewish Israelis. A third of suicides involved new immigrants. Among immigrants from the former Soviet Union who arrived decades ago, the rate has remained stable since 2000 but still higher (1.6 to 2.2 times) than native or veteran non-Ethiopian Israelis.
The suicide rate of immigrants from Ethiopia, most of whom came decades ago, has declined by half from the rate in 2005 but remains higher (around six times) than of native or veteran non-Ethiopian Israelis.
In the past decade, there have been about 5,500 attempted suicides taken to hospital emergency rooms in an average year. The rate of attempted suicides in the last three years on record has remained steady. Half of all attempts were individuals under the age of 25, with the most common age 19.
Ethiopian immigrants are less likely to attempt suicide than veteran non-Ethiopian Israelis, but among former immigrants from the FSU, the rate is 2.9 times higher among children aged 10 to 14 and 1.6 times higher in those aged 15 to 24 compared to non-immigrant Israelis, the ministry report said.