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Suicide Prevention is an ongoing task for mental health services. This article describes a pilot program for suicide prevention that took place in two districts in Israel from 2009 to 2012. The program targeted specific population, patients in high-risk for suicide, without major mental illness or previous association with the mental health system. In that group many suicide attempts were due to stressful life events.
Patients who performed a suicide attempt or were considered high-risk for suicide were referred to the project. The first contact took place up to 24 h after the referral and included a phone call with suggestion for further intervention. If he was willing, the patient was invited to a serious of 8–12 meetings with a therapist that focused on “crisis intervention” techniques.
212 subjects were referred to the project. Three quarters of the referrals were females. Most of them were of Jewish nationality, however, the percentage of Druze in the program’s population was higher than their percentage of general population. Only 137 continued participation after the initial phone call, people of Jewish nationality were more willing to continue the intervention. During the intervention there was a decline in suicide rates in the participating districts.
The pilot program exhibits promising preliminary results, it is interesting to examine the difference in participation between different ethnic groups. Since the sample size is small, there is a need to continue the program on a larger scale.
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