Suicide by health professionals: a retrospective mortality study in Australia, 2001–2012

Allison J Milner, Matthew J Spittal and Marie M Bismark
Med J Aust 2017; 206 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.01372
Published online: 19 June 2017

In their comment on our article,1 Adler and Adler are correct in noting that sexual harassment is a significant issue facing female doctors, as it is for women in many occupations.2 Those who experience sexual harassment are also more likely to experience bullying and other forms of workplace incivility.3 Workplace bullying has also been found to be related to higher risk of suicidality.4 In view of this, we agree that these would be worthwhile targets for prevention initiatives.

  • 1 Centre for Population Health Research, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Centre for Health Equity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 4 Centre for Health Policy, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC

Competing interests:

Allison Milner receives financial support from the Society for Mental Health Research, Deakin University, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

  • 1. Milner AJ, Maheen H, Bismark MM, Spittal MJ. Suicide by health professionals: a retrospective mortality study in Australia, 2001–2012. Med J Aust 2016; 205: 260-265. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Lamontagne AD, Smith PM, Louie AM, Quinlan M, et al. Unwanted sexual advances at work: variations by employment arrangement in a sample of working Australians. Aust N Z J Public Health 2009; 33: 173-179.
  • 3. Willness CR, Steel P, Lee K. A meta-analysis of the antecedents and consequences of workplace sexual harrassment. Personnel Psychology 2007; 60: 127.
  • 4. Leach LS, Poyser C, Butterworth P. Workplace bullying and the association with suicidal ideation/thoughts and behaviour: a systematic review. Occup Environ Med 2016. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2016-103726.
  • 5. Milner A, Page K, Spencer-Thomas S, Lamotagne AD. Workplace suicide prevention: a systematic review of published and unpublished activities. Health Promot Int 2015; 30: 29-37.


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