Immigrants make up one-third of suicides in Israel

Of the 4,806 reported suicides between 2000 and 2013, over 1,600 of them have been at the hands of immigrants.

Cynthia Blank,

Flash 90

One-third of the people who committed suicide in Israel between the years 2000 and 2013 were immigrants, a report presented to the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday revealed. 

The data was presented as part of a discussion on mental health care reforms for immigrants and their offspring. 

There were 4,806 reported suicides in Israel in those 13 years, 1,658 of them immigrants - comprising a total of 34.5% of all suicides between 2000 and 2013. 

In 2013 alone, there were 117 suicides by immigrants, 32% of the total suicides that year. 

According to the statistics, a quarter of those olim who committed suicide between 2000 and 2013 were immigrants from the Soviet Union who made aliyah from 1990 on, while between 3 to 8% were Ethiopians who immigrated from 1980 and on. 

"Many immigrants experience a crisis, but fear being labeled as having mental health problems," committee chairman MK Avraham Nagosa (Likud) said. "So they avoid seeking treatment, especially because they can't afford private mental health care."

"According to the statistics, there are no translators at medical clinics and many immigrants experience great difficulty in receiving treatment. The Health Ministry and these clinics must immediately enlist help" in treating immigrants.