The Process of Evolving a National Plan in Suicide Prevention in a Context of Political Violence

This article reports on suicide and suicidal behaviour in Palestine and sets this in the context of political violence related to the Israeli occupation. Accurate data about suicide and attempted suicide are limited and as such a range of studies including those concerned with the wider Middle East and North Africa region are used here to describe the context for suicide.


The article indicates some of the individual and societal risk factors associated with suicide in Palestine and reflects on the role of Islam and religious leaders in tackling the stigma associated with suicide. It describes current mental health services for those who may attempt to take their own life and then outlines the steps that the Ministry of Health is taking to develop a national plan in suicide prevention.


Key implications for practice

  •  The capacity of health services and MHPSS needs to be improved to enhance suicide prevention services in Palestine.
  •  MHPSS practitioners should strengthen the message that suicide is not a crime but a multidimensional mental health problem.
  •  To reduce stigma around suicide, it is important to target gatekeepers, including religious leaders.
Samah Jabr, Maria Helbich | 2021
In: Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas | 19 | 2 | 208-214 | Diemen : ARQ International
Epidemiology, Mental health, Political violence, Prevention, Program Evaluation, Psychosocial impact, Psychosocial support, Suicidality