Federal employee suicide rate in 2018 was five times higher than private industry

Suicide Helping hands
St.Jude Progress

Wildland firefighters are not alone in their high rate of suicide.

From Fedsmith.com January 8, 2019:

Suicides accounted for 28% of the 124 Federal employee job-related deaths in 2018.

In contrast, suicides accounted for only 5% of the 4,779 private industry employees who died on the job in 2018.

It is OK to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide. Some people think this will spur suicide attempts but this is not accurate. Encouraging them to talk could be the first step leading them to safety.

Help is available for those feeling really depressed or suicidal.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jim. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Federal employee suicide rate in 2018 was five times higher than private industry”

  1. Although unfortunate and most likely mostly preventable, citing such a dramatic percentage among only 124 deaths may not produce an accurate picture because the sample size is so small that a variance of only a few deaths in a year will produce significant swings in the percentage deaths that are suicides.

    This is not to say this is not a serious problem, it absolutely is. But it would be more accurate to use a similar sized sample to that of the private sector which could possibly be achieved by combining statistics from several years or including results from similar employment among state, county and municipal workers.


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