BY ROBERT PREIDT,
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In the midst of the ‘Me Too’ movement, a new study finds that people sexually harassed at work may be at increased risk for attempted #suicide and #suicide.
The findings out of Sweden show that workplace #sexualharassment may “represent an important risk factor for suicidal behavior,” said study author Linda Magnusson Hanson, an associate professor in the psychology department at Stockholm University, and colleagues.
The research included more than 85,000 #male and #female workers in Sweden who completed a questionnaire between 1995 and 2013. It asked if they’d been sexually harassed at work in the past 12 months by either fellow workers, superiors or by what they termed “others,” such as clients, passengers, students or patients.
Overall, nearly 5% of the workers reported workplace #sexualharassment: about 2% of #men and 7.5% of #women. Those who said they were sexually harassed were more likely to be younger, single, divorced, in low-paid but high-strain jobs, and born outside of Europe.
The workers were then followed for an average of up to 13 years. During that time, 125 died by #suicide and 816 made a #suicide attempt.
While the study was only observational and did not prove a cause-and-effect link, workplace #sexualharassment was associated with a nearly threefold increased risk of #suicide and almost doubled increased risk of attempted #suicide, the researchers found.
The increased risk remained significant after adjustments for health and work characteristics, and there were no significant differences between the sexes. #Sexualharassment from others was more strongly associated with increased risk of #suicide than #sexualharassment from superiors or fellow workers, according to the study.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
The results were published Sept. 2 in the BMJ.
“This suggests that workplace interventions focusing on the social work environment and behaviors could contribute to a decreased burden of #suicide,” Hanson and her team said in a journal news release.
“We believe no workplace can be considered safe unless it is free of harassment, and this issue cannot be sidelined any longer,” they added.
They noted that victims of #sexualharassment should receive #mentalhealth screening and treatment.
This could “mitigate risks for subsequent #mentalhealth concerns and suicidality,” the researchers said.
The #U.S.NationalInstituteofMentalHealth has more on #suicideprevention.