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Psychosocial Working Conditions and Suicide Ideation: Evidence From a Cross-Sectional Survey of Working Australians

Milner, Allison PhD; Page, Kathryn DClinPsych; Witt, Katrina DPhil; LaMontagne, Anthony D. ScD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 6 - p 584–587
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000700

Objectives: This study examined the relationship between psychosocial working factors such as job control, job demands, job insecurity, supervisor support, and workplace bullying as risk factors for suicide ideation.

Methods: We used a logistic analytic approach to assess risk factors for thoughts of suicide in a cross-sectional sample of working Australians. Potential predictors included psychosocial job stressors (described above); we also controlled for age, gender, occupational skill level, and psychological distress.

Results: We found that workplace bullying or harassment was associated with 1.54 greater odds of suicide ideation (95% confidence interval 1.64 to 2.05) in the model including psychological distress. Results also suggest that higher job control and security were associated with lower odds of suicide ideation.

Conclusions: These results suggest the need for organizational level intervention to address psychosocial job stressors, including bullying.

Work, Health and Wellbeing Unit, Centre for Population Health Research, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University Waurn Ponds (Drs Milner, Page, Witt, LaMontagne); and Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Dr Milner).

Address correspondence to: Allison Milner, PhD, Work, Health & Wellbeing Unit, Population Health Strategic Research Centre, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University, Burwood, Melbourne, VIC 3125, Australia (

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine