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Department of Psychiatry
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Who is at higher risk of suicide?

There are many different biological, psychological and environmental risk factors for suicide. In Canada, the following groups have higher rates of suicide or suicide attempts:

Two people side by side.

  • Men die by suicide at a higher rate than women. Older men are at a very high risk of dying by suicide.
  • Women make suicide attempts at higher rates.
  • History of psychotic or major mood disorder (e.g. schizophrenia, major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder).
  • Family history of suicide.
  • Individuals who have lost loved ones to suicide.
  • Individuals who have made a previous suicide attempt.
  • History of specific types of personality disorders (e.g. borderline personality disorder).
  • Chronic illness causing severe pain or disability.
  • History of trauma, abuse or neglect.
  • Youth ages 15 to 24 (second-leading cause of death for youth)
  • 2SLGBTQ+ youth have thoughts of suicide and suicide-related behaviours (e.g. self-harm) more often than their non-2SLGBTQ+ peers. This refers to those who identify as Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer/questioning youth.
  • Indigenous Peoples (especially youth).
  • Imprisoned individuals and/or history of aggression.