Mental health inmate rests in bed [illustrative] 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jianan Yu)
The number of suicides among young people, new immigrants and most other groups has declined, especially since 2011, according to statistics of suicides and suicide attempts since 2000 released on Monday by the Health Ministry.
In 2014, the most recent year for which the ministry reported statistics, there were 382 suicides – 294 men and 88 women. The suicide rate has fallen among men in the past decade. Among youth aged 15 to 24, the suicide rate has declined since 2006. And the age group most likely to take their own lives are men and women over the age of 75.
The age-adjusted suicide rate for Jews and others is 2.4 times higher than for Arabs between 2012-2014.
About two-thirds (66%) of the Arab suicides were under the age of 45, compared with 44% among Jews and others. The suicide rate is stable among Arabs, compared to a decline among Jews and others.
The age-adjusted suicide rate of immigrants from the former Soviet Union is twice as high as among Jews and others, excluding immigrants, and is relatively stable.
Among immigrants from Ethiopia, the age-adjusted suicide rate has been four times higher in recent years.
The suicide rate among married couples is lower than that of divorced and single men. About a third of all divorced men who committed suicide were fathers of children up to age 18, a stable percentage between 2010-2014. The age-adjusted suicide rate decreased on average between 2012-2014 by 30% in the Northern District, 17% in the Tel Aviv district and 15% in the Haifa and Central Districts, compared to the period between 2009-2011.
About one-third of suicide attempts were among young people up to age 21, comprising 35% of attempts by men and 37% of attempts by women. The highest rate of suicide attempts is among Arab women, but this has declined in recent years compared with the high rate recorded in 2011 and is similar to that among Jews and others.
The Health Ministry’s Unit for Suicide Prevention, headed by Shoshi Eisenberg-Hertz, began its activities in 2014 with the aim of implementing the National Plan for Suicide Prevention. The unit has created infrastructure for carrying out the program at the national level and won the cooperation of many organizations and government ministries. The program has already been implemented in more than 50 communities.
More than 10,000 doctors, teachers, social workers and other professionals have been trained as “gatekeepers” to identify people at risk for suicide and in how to initiate a sensitive and appropriate dialogue with them, the ministry said.
The national program supports the operation of hot lines, such as Eran and Sahar, which target at-risk populations and help them cope with mental distress and losses.
In addition, in cooperation with Magen David Adom, a psychosocial response service has been set up to lend initial psychological