Year: 2020 Source: Crisis. (2020). 41(1), 54-63. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000610. SIEC No: 20200273

Background: Suicide rates are higher among unemployed men as well as those employed in male-dominated occupations such as construction. There has been less research on whether these patterns are similar for suicide ideation and attempt. Aims: In a cohort of 13,892 Australian males, this study examined the relationship between employment status and occupational gender ratio on reported thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts. Method: Men reporting suicide ideation or attempts at Wave 1 were removed from the sample. Logistic regression was used to examine Wave 1 employment status and occupational gender ratio and Wave 2 reported suicide ideation and attempts, controlling for confounders (measured in Wave 1). We conducted a sensitivity analysis controlling for mental health status. Results: Those who were unemployed or not in the labor force had elevated rates of suicide ideation (unemployed OR = 1.91, 95% CI [1.30, 2.82], p = .001; not in the labor force OR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.09, 2.60], p = .020). Those who were not in the labor force had greater odds of attempts (OR = 2.32, 95% CI [1.05, 5.12], p = .037). There was no association between occupational gender ratio and suicide ideation or attempt. Limitations: We only had single item measures of ideation and attempts. Conclusion: There is a need for further investigation into risk factors for suicide among males, both when they are in and out of employment.