Suicide Among Working-Aged People

  • Suicide is the leading cause of injury-related death in Canada. Working-aged men and women represent one of the highest risk groups for suicide.
  • Men of working age die by suicide 3 to 4 times more often than women. Women are hospitalized for suicide-related behaviour 1.5 times more often than men.
  • Although suicide deaths affect almost all age groups, middle-aged men (40 to 59) have the highest rates.

Suicide and Workplace Impact

  • The workplace plays an essential part in maintaining positive mental health.
  • The suicide of a worker has tremendous emotional costs in the workplace.
  • 70% of Canadian employees have some degree of concern about psychological health and safety in their workplace.
  • Approximately 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness on any given week.
  • The annual cost to the economy in health and social services, income support, and lost productivity is $51 billion.

Role of Workplaces in Suicide Prevention

  • Workplaces are communities. Adults spend more waking hours in the workplace (60%) than anywhere else.
  • Workplaces play a critical role in preventing suicides and promoting good mental health.
  • Given the right tools, managers and colleagues are able to identify and support employees at risk of suicide.
  • Effectively supporting employees bereaved by suicide can prevent further suicide.

Benefits of Becoming a Suicide-Safer Workplace

  • Saves lives
  • More productive workforce
  • Reduced workplace injuries and absences
  • Results in a more resilient and hopeful workforce
  • A compassionate and psychologically safe workplace

Key Elements in a Suicide-Safer Workplace

  • A workplace culture where help-seeking behaviours are encouraged
  • Clear communication regarding the value of worker mental health and safety
  • Provision of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness and Training
  • Promotion of information and resources on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention (suicide bereavement)
  • An established response protocol in the event of a suicide or suicide attempt, at work or outside work, in the life of a worker.