A retrospective study into suicide in Australia from 2001 to 2012 uncovered these alarming four findings:
- Female Medical Professionals: 128% more likely to suicide than females in other occupations (6.4 per 100,000 vs 2.8 per 100.000)
- Female Nurses & Midwives: 192% more likely to suicide than females in other occupations (8.2 per 100,000 vs 2.8 per 100.000)
- Male Nurses & Midwives: 52% more likely to suicide than males in other occupations (22.7 per 100,000 vs 14.9 per 100.000)
- Male Nurses & Midwives: 196% more likely to suicide than their female colleagues (22.7 per 100,000 vs 8.2 per 100.000)
Data source: Milner, A.J., Maheen, H., Bismark, M.M., & Spittal, M.J. (2016) Suicide by health professionals: a retrospective mortality study in Australia, 2001–2012. Medical Journal of Australia 205 (6): 260-265
Suicide is a complex matter that does not lend itself to easy understanding or simple solutions. However, something we know about health professionals is that they know that there are mental health services and supports. Health professionals know that these services can be accessed by people who who are feeling suicidal. The data suggests that health professionals have an actual or perceived barrier to accessing these existing supports. I wonder what that barrier is.