Israel: High rates of suicide among country’s LGBT youth

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

New research published this week in Israel has examined suicide rates among LGBT youth in the country.

Kipa reports that for the first time, the suicide rates among different segments of Israeli youth have been analysed in detail.

According to a study of 1,134 teens, 20% of gay youngsters surveyed had undertaken suicide attempts – 112 times the rate of the general population.

However, the rate is even higher for religious LGBT youngsters.

Dr Chana Bar Yosef, the study’s director said: “This is a sector that does not get enough notice, and it is a hotbed for suicides that you later hear about after the fact.

“The suicide rate among religious homosexuals is the highest because they experience more distress when confronting their families.”

The organisation for Religious Homosexuals (HOD) has been working for several years to decrease the suicide attempts of religious gays in the country.

It aims to increase awareness of the issue in Israeli society and is led by the Orthodox Rabbi Ron Yosef.

In April 2009, he became the first Israeli orthodox Rabbi to come out as gay.

A study published in the US last year suggested that attempted suicide rates among gay teenagers are higher in more conservative areas.

The research involved more than 32,000 high school students in the state of Oregon.

According to Stonewall’s School Report of 2012, 16% of gay and bisexual boys have attempted suicide and 57% have thought about taking their own life in the UK.