Female doctors and nurses across Australia are at least three times more likely to commit suicide, a study has found.
"Women working in health professions appear to be at particular risk; whereas in the general population the rate of suicide for men is nearly four times as high as that for women, the rates of suicide among female health professionals are comparable with those of their male peers," the report found.
"Medical professionals with access to prescription medications had a higher rate [of suicide] than those who didn't have access... like optometrists and physiotherapists," Deakin University's Dr Allison Milner, the lead author of the research, told the Medical Journal of Australia.
The risk of suicide was 62% higher among those with ready access to prescription medicines.
"It is not just being in a stressful occupation, it is on top of that having access to a lethal means."
The research also found male nurses and midwives had almost double the rate of suicide compared with men in other professions.
"We didn't find an elevated rate [of suicide] among male doctors," Milner, who sorted almost 10,000 suicide cases from 2001 to 2012 by occupation, said.
If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately at Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.
Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Gina Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.