Unemployed males are around 4.6 times more likely to take their own lives than employed males, lending evidence that there is significant correlation between unemployment rates and suicide mortality in males.
We have always pointed out the importance of the social determinants of health: satisfying work is good for our health, frustrating work is not. Unemployment, this research shows, can put some men at risk of suicide.
The Australian Institute of Male Health Studies in conjunction with Mr Anthony Smith and Prof John Macdonald have collated a series of reports and research documents from around the world that provide evidence and insight into how unemployment is directly correlated to the enormous toll of suicides in males.
This research identifies a multi-faceted approach towards addressing male suicide with particular reference to the impact of unemployment and social factors rather than the traditional view that suicide is always a result of mental illness.
The research helps to outline the specific male attributes that underlie male suicide and contribute to the relatively higher rates of death by suicide in males, and offers recommendations for services and policy to cohesively implement actions that work across the social factors that collectively influence suicide outcomes.
In 2012, there were 2535 suicide deaths in Australia, of which 80% were male. There is significant evidence that unemployment plays a major determining role in the high male suicide rate, evidenced by a peak in male suicide mortality in males between the ages of 30 and 50. Suicide is now the leading cause of death for both males and females aged between 15 and 44.
Unemployment is often not a consideration in shaping public health responses to suicide as there is currently little understanding of the influence that unemployment has in driving suicide mortality. It is reported that unemployed males are around 4.6 times more likely to take their own lives than employed males, lending evidence that there is significant correlation between the factors.
- National Guidelines For Suicide Prevention - Men And Unemployment -683 KB
Recent Australian research (2014) shows that unemployed men are much more likely to suicide than employed men. This guide shows the link between unemployment and suicide, and how suicide can be prevented.(PDF 100kb)
- Men, Unemployment and Suicide: A Presentation By Anthony Smith -3.38 MB
Data and analysis from recent research into male suicides in Australia with recommendations for service delivery and structure.
- Annals Of Internal Medicine - Approaching Suicide As A Public Health Issue -53 KB
Editorial By Prof Kerry Knox from the University of Rochester on the view that suicide should be treated and therefore managed as a public health issue with associated systems support.
- Men, Suicide and Society: A Research Report By The Samaritans UK -1.63 MB
This report seeks to explain why men of low socio-economic position in their mid-years are excessively vulnerable to death by suicide and provides recommendations to reduce these unnecessary deaths.
- Miseries Suffered, Unvoiced, Unknown? Communication of Suicidal Intent by Men in "Rural" Queensland, Australia -85 KB
Using data from the Queensland Suicide Register, this study by Dr Samara McPhedran et al evaluates one form of help-seeking behavior - communication of suicidal intent - among men who died by suicide. Contrary to the expectation that suicide in rural areas would be associated with lower levels of help-seeking behavior than suicide in urban areas, it was found that communication of suicidal intent was broadly comparable across rural and urban settings.
- Economic shocks, resilience, and male suicides in the Great Recession: cross-national analysis of 20 EU countries -193 KB
During the 2007–11 recessions in Europe, suicide increases were concentrated in men. Substantial differences across countries and over time remain unexplained. We investigated whether increases in unaffordable housing, household indebtedness or job loss can account for these population differences, as well as potential mitigating effects of alternative forms of social protection.