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Megan Humphreys, Jeffrey M. Lating, Ph.D., Matthew W. Kirkhart, Ph.D.

Risk and Protective Factors Related to Suicidal Ideation among Heavy Industry Workers in Labrador City, Newfoundland

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO, suicide is the second leading cause of death worldwide among individuals aged 15-29 years (WHO, 2017a). This daunting statistic is a particularly acute concern for individuals who are members of the United Steelworkers (USW) and are working in Labrador City, an isolated rural small mining community in the province of Newfoundland, Canada that has been experiencing a “suicide cluster” for approximately two years (A. McDougall, 2018).

The purpose of this research is to explore risk and protective factors within this emotionally and physically challenging industrial environment that are associated with suicidal ideation and behaviors. Data were collected using a convenience sample of current and retired heavy industry workers (n=246) who self-selected to complete standardized measures about the putative protective and pathology factors of depression, alcohol consumption, trauma exposure, hope, and social support. These predictive factors will be correlated with the total score of the Suicide Behavior Questionnaire (SBQR), a short-form measure of overall suicidal ideation. Preliminary exploration of these data will be presented. The results offer potentially meaningful implications for community-wide interventions and could guide additional research, which will be explored in the poster.

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