Bishvil Hahayim (Path to Life), is an Israeli non-profit organization, that was established in 2000 by a group of health care professionals, who specialize in the area of suicide and its prevention and family members whose dear ones committed suicide.
Based on research, approximately 500 people commit suicide every year in Israel, about 100 of whom are youth. In practice, however, it is assumed that the number of people who commit suicide is 25% higher. Each year, over 500 families are left to deal with the tragedy that changes their lives forever.
According to official statistics, in addition to the 500 people who take their own lives, over 5,000 people are rushed to emergency rooms following suicide attempts, and it is estimated that another 2,000 additional cases are not even reported. The suicide phenomena spreads through all age groups and populations but is not reported in the media even though more people die from suicide than from traffic accidents. The reason for this is the stigma it creates and fears of social alienation. These reasons make the families deny the situation and therefore they do not seek the much needed support. Furthermore, this social taboo prevents an open discussion on the subject, which only makes matters worse. Unfortunately, lack of open discussion does not reduce suicide rates.
The mission of Path to Life is to raise awareness to the phenomena of suicide and its scope, develop preventative programs and support family members who lost their loved ones.
The organization operates a variety of activities to achieve its goals:
Support groups - We assists families who lost their loved ones through support groups where family members can share their experience and gain strength and support from others. The support groups are of paramount importance as there is no "school" that teaches how to deal with this devastating loss. All groups are guided by psychologists and social workers. In addition, we hold conferences that provide the families with essential skills to cope with the great loss.