The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a new report looking at suicide rates among US workers. The report’s goal is to inform suicide prevention efforts as suicide rates have increased significantly since the beginning of the century.
In the year 2000, the average suicide rate was 12.9 people per 100,000. In 2016, it was 17.3 for every 100,000 people. That’s a 34 percent increase. The report focused on workers from 17 states. It found that suicide rate among males in 2015 was highest for construction and extraction workers, followed by arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media workers and installation, maintenance, and repair workers.
For females, it was arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media workers that were at a higher risk, followed by people working in protective services and health care support. The analysis covered more than 22,000 Americans aged between 16 and 64. At the other end of the scale for the two genders considered were education, training, and library jobs. These had the lowest suicide rates in 2015.
“Increasing suicide rates in the US are a concerning trend that represents a tragedy for families and communities and impact the American workforce,” Dr Deb Houry, director of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a statement. “Knowing who is at greater risk for suicide can help save lives through focused prevention efforts.”
Suicide is complex and has multiple causes. Social isolation, psychological stress, declining mental health, economic insecurity, and substance abuse can all contribute in large or small part to the decision to take one's own life. The CDC hopes that this report will lead to ad-hoc interventions such as employee assistance programs and workplace wellness initiatives for the people who are most at risk.
Suicide is a public health issue and it is up to everyone to reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses and seeking help. The CDC has a system in place to help states and communities find the best approaches when it comes to suicide prevention.
If you are feeling suicidal there are many ways you can get help. You can contact the Samaritans, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK), or text the Crisis Text Line on 741-741.