The Ministry of Health presents updated information on the extent of suicide in Israel, which includes information on the number and rate of suicides in the last decade up to 2014 and suicide attempts in 2000-2016.
The publication was prepared in the Information Department as a continuation of the series of publications of the Ministry on the subject of suicidal behavior, in order to present trends and to point out the population at risk in order to minimize the extent of the phenomenon.

Main findings:

  • In 2014 there were 382 suicides, 294 men and 88 women.
  • The suicide rate has fallen among men in the last decade, especially a decline from 2011.
  • Among youth aged 15-24, there was a decline in the rate of suicide since 2006.
  • In average of years 2012 and 2014, the rate declined among boys aged 15-18 in 63%, age 19-21 in 65%, and age 22-24 in 38% compared with the years 2000-2002.
  • The highest suicide rate among both sexes was recorded at age 75 and above.
  • The age-adjusted suicide rate for Jews and others is 2.4 times higher than the average for the Arabs in average of years 2012-2014. About two-thirds (66%) of the Arab suicides were up to 45 years old, compared to 44% among Jews and others. The 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 without immigrants and is relatively stable, and among immigrants from Ethiopia it is four times higher in recent years.
  • The suicide rate among married people is lower than that of divorced and single men rate. About a third of all divorced men who committed suicide were fathers of children up to age 18, a stable percentage in 2010-2014.
  • The age-adjusted suicide rate decreased on average in the years 2012-2014 by 30% in the Northern District, 17% in the Tel Aviv District and 15% in the Haifa and Central Districts, compared to 2009-2011.
  • The rate of suicide attempts adjusted to age is relatively stable in the years 2011-2016.
  • About a third of suicide attempts were among young people up to age 21, 35% of attempts by men, and 37% of attempts by women.
  • The highest age-adjusted suicide rate is among Arab women, but declined in recent years compared with the high rate recorded in 2011, in 2016 the rate is similar to the rate among Jews and others.

The Unit for Prevention of Suicide headed by Adv. Shoshi Eisenberg-Hertz began operations during 2014-2015. The role of the unit is to implement the outline of the National Plan for Suicide Prevention, as stated in Government Decision No. 1091 of 22.12.13, Therefore, so far the unit created many infrastructures for the implementation of the program at the national level, including collaborations with numerous organizations and government ministries, and implementation began in more than 50 communities.

As part of the activity:

  • Over 10,000 people have been trained in various authorities and organizations (including doctors, teachers, social workers and various functionaries) as "gatekeepers" who can identify a person at risk of suicide, create a sensitive and appropriate dialogue with him, and help him get to therapy.
  • In addition, the staff of the Unit created, together with the local authorities, more than 70 treatment sequences designed to guard and assist a person at risk of suicide in order to facilitate him with appropriate treatment.
  • In the framework of the creation of psychosocial support services, 24 hours per day 7 days per week the National Program supports the service of "hotlines" that assist the populations at risk, mental distress and suicide who seek assistance by telephone and on the Internet, to locate them on the network, such as Non-Profit Organization Eran, and Sahar. In addition, a characterization and construction process to provide initial response was carried out for the first time in cooperation with Magen David Adom, which provides a Mental Emergency Response service that will enable people to receive initial psychological assistance in the field and help maintain the psychological continuum for the benefit of the person in emotional distress and suicidal risk
  • In addition, a cooperation was conducted with the MAOR unit (Prevention of violence and cybercrime) at the Ministry of Internal Security which includes the National Unit for the Prevention of Violence and Crime against Children and Youth.
  • Another action of the unit is information, which includes a dedicated presentation, to prevent suicide among the Ethiopian community, which constitute a risk group for suicide and later stages of implementation of the program, a national publicity campaign will be implemented to raise public awareness.
  • In the frame of actions of data recovery and epidemiology through the Center for Disease Control, Ministry of Health, information was gathered on the extent and trends of the phenomenon of suicide. The purpose of the move is to improve the missing reporting available in the data on suicide in Israel. Accordingly, in recent years, tens of thousands of death files have been examined and thousands of cases have been found on suspicion of suicide.
  • As part of the cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Welfare, assistance and treatment (individual and group) was provided to families whose loved ones committed suicide. Today, the Ministry of Welfare operates two support centers and eight additional aid centers are expected to open in the coming months.
  • As part of the cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, measures are being taken to prevent suicide in the education system, including the training of thousands of gatekeepers, the training of hundreds of educational psychologists who maintain risk assessments and treatment of hundreds of youth at risk of suicide. The implementation of the HOSEN program in some schools, and other special programs are under estimation on the subject of prevention of suicides adapted to youth.
  • The unit’s activity includes regulatory measures to reduce access to dangerous means, including: promoting a procedure that will reduce access to hazardous buildings, (HOT SPOTS) restrict the sale of medication, and reduce access to weapons.
  • It should be noted that in the near future, an external supplier which will be fully managed by the Unit is expected to join this activity, , which will expand the services of the National Program for Suicide Prevention, with the aim of advancing its implementation at the national level over the coming years.

Suicide in Israel

Suicide in Israel 2017 – Full Announcement