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Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: can stress at work lead to suicide?
  1. Marianna Virtanen
  1. Work Ability and Working Careers, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marianna Virtanen, Department of Psychology, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki 00032, Finland; marianna.virtanen{at}

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Approximately 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and the number of suicide attempts is more than 20 times higher.1 This leads to millions of people to be affected or experience suicide bereavement every year. In young people aged 15–29 years, suicide is the second leading cause of death.1 Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan; suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2015.1 Suicide accounts for the largest share of the intentional injury burden in developed countries and it is projected to become an even greater contributor to the global burden of disease.2

Preventable risk factors of suicide include mental disorders, such as mood, impulse control and substance use disorders, as well as psychological factors such as feelings of hopelessness, anhedonia and impulsiveness.2 Stressful events, such as family and romantic conflicts, legal problems and job loss often precede suicidal behaviour, and persistent stress among some occupations, for example, physicians, military personnel and police officers, has been suggested to contribute to increased risk of suicide in those occupations.2 A recent …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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