The Association of Occupation with Mental Illnesses and Death by Suicide

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2018
Project completed:
September 2021

Globally, suicide accounts for 1.4% of all deaths, making it the 18th leading cause of mortality worldwide. However, in the U.S. suicide accounts for 1.8% of all deaths and is the 10th largest cause of mortality. Previous research has linked depression, psychological distress, and lower levels of well-being with substantially higher risk of suicide. However, recent data suggest more than half of suicide victims did not have any prior mental health diagnosis, indicating that factors other than mental illness should be explored. Higher risks for suicide have been associated with select occupations. This project evaluated the association of occupational risk factors with mental illnesses, all-cause mortality, and suicide using the National Health Interview Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics datasets.