Work revealed as a lead factor in suicide

Farm work

Revelation comes on World Suicide Day 

10th September 2019 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

What type of work a person does is a significant factor in suicide, new research has revealed on World Suicide Day (10 September).  

Male-dominated jobs such as farming and trades work have a higher rate of people taking their own lives than other occupations.

Those in this category are seven times more likely to have died from suicide than those in customer service roles.

Unemployed people still have the highest rate of suicide while men remain most at risk.

Data shows 1,211 of the 4,661 suicides between 2011 and 2017 were by people out of work.

Billy Watson, chief executive of mental health charity SAMH, said: "We need to better understand the risk factors associated with suicide.

"These figures show us that those employed in skilled trades are at a higher risk of suicide, along with those who are unemployed.

"While there's compelling evidence to show a positive link between employment and mental health, this highlights that employers have a responsibility to create a culture that is open in talking about mental health and which challenges discriminatory behaviour."

Ministers want to reduce Scotland's rate of suicide by 20% by 2022 - using the 2017 rate as the baseline.

It comes as Samaritans is launching new research into self harm - a key factor in suicide. 

The charity will be carrying out research directly with young people who have self-harmed and working closely with policy makers to address the link between self-harm and suicide.

Mairi Gordon of Samaritans Scotland said: "At a time when we've seen deaths by suicide increase both here in Scotland and across the UK, it's crucial that we re-double our efforts to better understand the factors that contribute to suicide and the interventions which can save lives.

"We are particularly concerned to see rates increase among under-25s. Reducing suicide among young people requires research, investment and services to take account of young people's whole experience. As one of the strongest indicators of future suicide risk, it's crucial that we improve our understanding self-harm and its impact."

Adrienne, 24, from North Lanarkshire, is among those who have reached out to Samaritans when she was struggling to cope. 

“When you’re at a point where you feel suicidal you don’t believe you deserve a voice," she said. "You don’t feel like you deserve to be here full stop. But calling Samaritans gave me back my voice. It gave me the space I needed to talk.

I’ve had ups and downs following that night. But looking back I see my call to Samaritans as the start of a conversation and an important stepping stone in my recovery.”

10th September 2019 by Julie

If 1,211 people who took their own lives were out of work, then 3,450 were working. So how are people or of work the highest? *maths*?