Suicide in Israel: which resources are available to me?

When I was in fourth grade, I rode to school every day with four other children. All five families paid a lady driver to take us to school since all the parents worked and there was no school bus from our neighborhood. One of my fellow passengers, Josh, was a quirky, pale, boy in the fifth grade, with brown spiky hair, a silly half smile, and random odd comments staccatoed out during our 20-minute commute that certainly made the ride to school more interesting. I vividly remember one school night, when my mother sat me down after dinner, and quietly explained that Josh had taken his own life. He’d somehow caused damage to part of the house, ran into his room, and later, after removing the door, his parents found that he had hanged himself. This was my first introduction to suicide.

Despite the best efforts of family, friends, and health professionals, there are people, unfortunately, who choose to end their own lives. We all have been touched by this devastating tragedy. In Israel, it appears that several hundred people, more men than women, commit suicide each year. According to a recent Ministry of Health report, the risk is greater if you are single or divorced. The risk is twice as great if you are an immigrant from the FSU, and four times as high among Ethiopian immigrants.

One-third of the men who took their own lives had children under 18.

There are resources available to youth and adults at risk for suicide and/or suffering abuse. However, not all agencies, unfortunately, offer a response in English.

Here’s an updated (as of January 2018) list of organizations that respond in English.  [Thanks to my jinternship intern for being the guinea pig].

Name in English Name in Hebrew Phone number Comments
Eran (Mental Health Crisis Hotline) ער”ן עזרה ראשונה נפשית 1201 English available
Rape Crisis Center מרכז סיוע לנפגעות תקיפה מינית 1202, 1203 English available
Rape Crisis Hotline for Haredi/Religious Women קו סיוע לנשים דתיות-חרדיות נפגעות תקיפה מינית 02-6730002 English available
24-hour helpline for abused women (Vitzo) קו סיוע לנשים מוכות של ויצ”ו 24 שעות ביממה 1-800-39-39-04 English available
24-hour hotline for abused women קו חירום לנשים מוכות 24 שעות ביממה 1-800-353-300 Understood English/trouble speaking
Helpline for women in crisis קש”ב – קו שירות לנשים במצוקה 09-7747760 09-7412858 Understood English/trouble speaking
Bat Melech Battered Women’s Shelter for Religious/Haredi Women בת מלך- מקלט ודירות לנשים דתיות וחרדיות 1-800-292-333 English available
Kav l’ Noar (for youth) קו לנוער 02-622-3039 Services in English



3 thoughts on “Suicide in Israel: which resources are available to me?”

  1. As far as I know, the common statistic is that more girls/women thand boys/men “attempt” suicide, but the opposite is true when it comes to “success rates.”
    Important topic!

  2. Thank you for touching on such a difficult subject. One of my first encounters with suicide which left a lasting impression.

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