Which occupation has the highest suicide rate?

Suicide: These 8 Professions Are Most At Risk

An exhausting boss and unfriendly employees can take your last nerve. So far, so normal. However, going to work every day is a major hurdle for many people, and mental illnesses such as depression or burnout can even develop.

The psychological stress of the job can in some cases become so enormous that suicide is the last resort. But which professional groups are particularly prone to this and how can countermeasures be taken?

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8 jobs with the highest suicide rate

  • Police officers:Law enforcement officers are there when we are in danger or need help. It is a very honorable job, but the psychological strain on those affected is enormous. Problems in the partnership and financial difficulties due to a lack of opportunities for advancement are often associated with this occupational group. Police officers tend to take their own lives with their service weapon.
  • Farmers: Running your own farm or viticulture can be very exhausting. For many, physical work, in particular, is noticeable early on through pain. Farmers often see themselves socially isolated and no longer perceive their existence as worth living. The suicide here is also increasingly carried out with firearms.
  • Chemist: Scientists are bright minds who deal with equations and experiments on a daily basis. Overall, it is known that chemists have a suicide rate that is twice as high as the general population. Often cyanide is used for suicide because toxic substances are easily accessible for this occupational group.

More on this: Dissatisfaction at work makes you sick

Social professions go to the core

  • Social worker:People who work in the social field are often confronted with the problems and suffering of other people. They tend to take their work with them into their private lives and not be able to "switch off". This can lead to depression and ultimately suicide.
  • Doctors:Medical professionals have the highest risk of suicide. The stressful job brings with it more psychological and physical strain, which above all increases the likelihood of depression and burnout. Doctors are particularly badly affected here. The abuse of various substances can also be observed more intensely by doctors.
  • Nursing staff:Those who have to deal with illness and death on a daily basis often struggle with psychological (over) stress themselves. The general risk of suicide in combination with mental illness is common and known for this occupational group.

More: Working too long makes you sick

Loneliness & creativity

  • Artist: Creative minds are celebrated for their work. But often they get into exhausting situations due to financial bottlenecks and pressure to succeed. Artists are increasingly turning to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs to stimulate the flow of thoughts. However, in some cases this makes them become addicted and then frequently commit suicide.
  • Sailors:Alone on the high seas may seem very relaxing at first, but this is deceptive. Many seafarers suffer from enormous loneliness because they are separated from their families and friends for a long time. Many sufferers tend to consume more alcohol and usually end their lives by jumping into the water or by hanging.

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What to do if you have thoughts of suicide

If you or a work colleague think about suicide more often, then you should definitely seek help:

  • Talk to a friend, family, or someone you trust at work. Do not forget: You are not alone!
  • If possible, take time out from your job. If your general condition does not improve, get professional help or go to a support group.
  • The Austria-wide telephone counseling (emergency number 142) is staffed 24 hours and can be reached by those affected.
  • The Vienna Crisis Intervention Center is available for anonymous advice by phone and email. Personal initial interviews are also possible. Please visit the website for more information.

More on this: External help works better

last update:

Selma Tahirović, BA

Senior Editor