Those working in the farming, fishing, and forestry occupational group in the have the highest rate of suicide, a new study from the US has found.
The study, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that among men, farming, fishing, and forestry also accounted for the highest rates of suicide (90.5 per 100,000).
According to the researchers who compiled the study, occupational groups with higher suicide rates might be at risk for a number of reasons.
These included job-related isolation and demands, stressful work environments, and work-home imbalance, as well as socioeconomic inequities, including lower income, lower education level, and lack of access to health services.
"Previous research suggests that farmers’ chronic exposure to pesticides might affect the neurologic system and contribute to depressive symptoms."
Other factors that might contribute to suicide among farmers include social isolation, potential for financial losses, barriers to and unwillingness to seek mental health services (which might be limited in rural areas).
The next occupational group with the highest rate of suicide was the construction and extraction group, with 53.3 per 100,000 followed by the installation, maintenance and repair group (47.9 per 100,000).
The sectors with the lowest suicide rates was the education, training and library group (7.5 per 100,000) and the office and administrative group (7.9 per 100,000).
The study found that the highest rate of suicide among females (14.1) was among workers in the protective service occupational group.
In 2012, approximately 40,000 suicides were reported in the US, making suicide the 10th leading reported cause of death for persons aged over 16 years of age.