Occupations with the Highest Suicide Rates


Which Occupations Have the Highest Suicide Rates?

According to a recent article in the Denver Post, “Several studies indicate occupations most marked by suicides include physicians, temporary workers, farmers, miners, writers, artists, active-duty military, veterans and male nurses.”

There are many theories about these statistics. Some say suicides are higher in certain occupations because they attract people with certain or similar characteristics. Others say suicide statistics are higher in these fields because of additional influences like stress, long hours, burn out, isolation, ‘compassion fatigue,’ or even untreated depression as well as easy access to the means to commit suicide.

But just because a person is employed in one of these occupations, doesn’t mean that person has to live in a state of depression or be at risk for suicide.  For example, an article in Psychology Today said that though physicians have the highest suicide rate compared to people in any other line of work, not all physicians are in fact suicidal.

The article stated, “Here’s one more fact: physicians live longer and are generally healthier than people in most other professions. Even if you include physicians who commit suicide or suffer from depression, life expectancy and well-being are still very high amongst doctors.”

What makes the difference between those physicians who are at risk and those who aren’t?  For one thing, studies show that doctors not at risk for suicide have healthier habits.  They tend not to smoke, they eat less and exercise more and they get medical care or help when needed.

This correlates to the  steps many formerly suicidal people have taken to help them overcome their depression and suicidal thoughts as I shared in a recent article.  Overcomers tend to:

  1. Ask God for help. (See: Godtest.com for resources.)
  2. Get involved in a faith community.
  3. Get professional help and/or discover that it’s  okay to ask for help.
  4. Get healthy with either or diet, exercise.
  5. Kick or reduce substance abuse habits.
  6. Volunteer to help others.

Perhaps people, regardless of their occupations, could utilize these same ideas to help beat depression so as to live happier, healthier lives.  In addition to our recommendations, watch Dr. Don Darst explain some surprisingly simple and effective steps you can all take to lessen your daily stress:

If you are at risk to harm yourself, please go to the hospital, call 911, or call
Suicide Helpline:
1800 – SUICIDE
Suicide Prevention Hotline:
National Suicide Hotline:

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  1. Melissa says:

    If you think certain occupations precipitate depression, try living without an occupation, income, or insurance for medical treatment! That’s what happens to those who file for disability. I finally got my disability income awarded, but I’m still treated like a second-class citizen for having Medicare. Today at the GYN’s, the receptionist first said I could see the doctor “even tho he usually doesn’t take your insurance.” (? He took it at the last visit!) Then she yelled across the room at me – twice – because I’d asked an important question about my Medicare and advantage plan. I’m not sure, but I think she violated HIPAA privacy laws by yelling my personal business around the room full of women. Then she refused to let me see the GYN, even tho I’d signed all the necessary forms and had waited over 30 minutes expecting to see my doctor. I had wasted over an hour of my morning and 10.6 in mileage each way, there & back. I was so humiliated. Do I get to relax? No, I have to go to my 88-year-old dad’s (who’s had a stroke) and listen to him fuss nonstop for hours about what my son is doing – he’s been on drugs, has gone through withdrawal, and is out trying to find a job. Then I have to go home to my husband, who’s had several strokes and is filing for disability. He has many medical conditions, but lately he’s had very painful gout. He receives a form to complete for Social Security about his ability to work, and he gets very depressed thinking about all the things his body won’t do anymore. I worry constantly every single day that I will walk into the next room and he’ll be dead. Stress? No occupation necessary. Come to my house!!

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      Hi Melissa, Bless you! I’m so sorry you had to go through that with your doctor, plus have the stress of your other situation. Yes, you are right about stress for the unemployeed. We are busy researching an article about that. But for now, know that we care and that we are praying for you.

      • Melissa says:

        Thank you very much. In addition to all of the above, I’m recovering from major shoulder surgery. I really do appreciate your prayers, and I’m grateful for this website.

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