Health Ministry: 14% rise in number of suicides in West Bank.
RAMALLAH, Monday, September 09, 2019 (WAFA) --Suicide cases increased by 14% in the West Bank last year compared to the previous year and one of the main reasons for committing suicide is psychological, especially depression, said the Palestinian Ministry of Health in a report published today.
Samah Jabr, head of the mental health unit at the Ministry of Health, said several studies have concluded that faith and religious belief help reduce depression and anxiety, facilitate healing, and prevent suicide.
She called for the introduction of mental health and counseling courses in the Sharia faculties in order to train religious scholars in psychological counseling and dealing with life threatening situations, explaining that Palestine is witnessing a rise in suicide cases.
According to statistics from the Police Research and Planning Department, the number of suicides in the West Bank last year increased by 14% compared to the previous year to reach 25 suicides. In 2017, there were 22 cases.
Statistics showed that of last year's 25 cases, 10 were males and 15 were females. In addition, 17 were single and eight married. The highest percentage of persons who committed suicide was in the age group between 25 and 28 years, a 32% of the total, and 44% of the cases had completed high school.
Official statistics showed that 218 people attempted suicide, including 61 males and 157 females. Depression was one of the most important reasons for committing suicide when the person feels there is no purpose to live.
Jabr said Palestine lacks the hotlines that provide suicide prevention intervention, as well as studies and data on this phenomenon that would contributed to do further research that can help professionals find the best possible strategies to deal with it.
She said the sensitivity and illegality of suicide makes this phenomenon grow in the shadows and become difficult to control.
She said that thinking about suicide does not mean that a person is bad, weak in faith or would like to die, but that he is suffering from unbearable pain, advocating using religious education to help potential suicide cases come out of their depression and live a positive life.
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