According to a recent investigation made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), farmers, fishermen, and lumberjacks are at the top jobs with highest suicide rates. The study aims to show some high death percentages, to raise awareness on the matter.

As in 2012, suicide was classified as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, around 40,000 persons from 16 years and older took their lives. Increasing suicide rates in the country. In a recent investigation held by the CDC, manual laborers such as electricians, miners, lumberjacks and fishermen tend to commit suicide more often.  Meanwhile, health specialists, teachers, and librarians have the lowest death rates.

Farmer sitting in tractor wheel with wheat in hands. According to the CDC, farmers are at the top 5 in the list of jobs causing people to suicide. Image Credit: Agro Trend
Farmer sitting in tractor wheel with wheat in hands. According to the CDC, farmers are at the top 5 in the list of jobs causing people to suicide. Image Credit: Agro Trend

Suicide is considered a severe public health issue since it can have emotional and harmful effects on families and communities. That’s why the national public health system has been focused on suicide prevention and support.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), estimates that 42,773 Americans are responsible for their deaths each year. Also, for every suicide, there are 25 attempts in the country, costing the nation $44 Billion annually.

Men are  3.5 percent more likely to commit suicide than women, as the AFSP reports, mainly white, middle-aged men.  American Indians and Alaska natives are the second most likely to commit suicide.

The highest rates of female suicides were seen in professions such as police officers, firefighters, correctional officers. Meanwhile, legal workers were found to be the second measured in death statistics.

Suicide rates among jobs

The study published on Thursday by the CDC, researched data from 17 states in the country, focusing on working groups. Among the states were: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The report is one of the largest in the country, focusing only in occupations and professions since it studied 12,300 suicide deaths of the 40,000 reported in the United States in 2012.  The CDC assures the education was limited.

To create the rate list, researchers used the federal government’s classification of jobs and professions. Which divides them into groups, and doesn’t evaluate the specific rate for each task. Meaning that the study can show the speed for manual workers, but not to farmers alone.


Lumberjacks have also made it to the top of the CDC's list for highest suicide rates among jobs. Image Credit: ShutterStock
Lumberjacks have also made it to the top of the CDC’s list of highest suicide rates among jobs. Image Credit: ShutterStock

Although the study has explained, that death rates tend to be greater in positions that isolate people. Those who provide a stressful environment or jobs that are related with socioeconomic inequities.  Nonetheless, several other reasons that affec matter such as emotional stability, education levels and access to health services.

Farmers were at the top of the suicide rates list, scientists and researchers have long speculated the reason for that. Since farmers tend to manipulate often pesticides, with harsh chemicals, their neurologic system tends to be affected causing depression.

Suicide prevention and help

The research made by the CDC provides information and facts about suicide as a national health issue. Which serves health specialists, employers, and business owners a wider look at their employees and their needs.

The primary objective of the study was to provide awareness of suicide and professions, Wendy McIntosh, one of the lead authors of the study addressed the matter.

“Knowing suicide rates by occupation provides employers and other prevention professionals with an opportunity to focus on suicide prevention programs and messages,” said McIntosh, who is also a health scientist at the CDC’S violence prevention division.

Assistance and guidance must be offered in workplaces, as well as educational talks and programs to employers so they can recognize warning signs and provide their employers a helping program.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a helpful tool that is available to all professions and citizens, dealing with suicide warning signs. Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, the seven days of the week, providing help to those who need it by the number 1-800- SUICIDE.

There are three primary factors to determine warning signs for suicide, which are talk, behavior, and mood. For example if a friend, relative or someone tends to talk about being trapped, pain, being a burden or aggressive to themselves, it might be a suicide warning sign.

A significant amount of alcohol and drugs, plus acting recklessly and isolating itself from family and friends is also related to suicide risk. Lost of interest, anxiety, humiliation and rage are often moods related to suicide warning signs.

It is important to notice that several other factors could lead to suicide such as mental health conditions and disorders, environmental factors at home or in the workplace and historical factors such as family history or previous attempts.

Source: CDC