Suicidal behavior among immigrants

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2011 Nov;46(11):1133-41. doi: 10.1007/s00127-010-0280-5. Epub 2010 Sep 7.


Introduction: This paper explores the association between suicidal behavior and immigrant status among Israeli residents from the former USSR (FSU).

Method: The Israeli component of the World Mental Health Survey (INHS) provided information on suicide ideations, plans and attempts. The INHS samples included Israel-born Jews (n = 2,114) and post-1990 immigrants from the FSU (n = 814). Data on completed suicide were extracted from the countrywide report of the Ministry of Health.

Results: The controlled lifetime rates of suicidal behavior among FSU immigrants were significantly higher than among their Israel-born counterparts. A higher risk was found in the first years following immigration among young adults with higher education and without a spouse. Completed suicide rates were higher among the FSU immigrants than in the general Israeli population with the largest risk among young-adult immigrant men.

Discussion: The findings are consistent with previous studies and are discussed in the context of both suicide rates in the country of origin and migratory stressors. Preventive measures are suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Russia / ethnology
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide / ethnology*
  • Suicide / trends
  • Young Adult