People who go to church at least once weekly are less likely to die from suicide, study finds

(Photo: The Times)

When was the last time you attended church or any religious services? If you are still scratching your head trying to remember, and you’re a healthcare professional, then you might wanna pay attention to the finding of this study.

Researchers at Harvard University have found that healthcare professionals who attend religious services at least once a week are less likely to die despair-related deaths such as suicide.

They found women who attended religious services weekly had a 68 per cent lower risk of death from despair. And the men who went to services at least once per week, had a 33 per cent lower risk of ‘death from despair’, which includes fatal illnesses as a result of drugs and alcohol.  

The researcher analysed a data set of more than 100,000 doctors and nurses to establish the link between religious services and a healthy, despair-free life.

Healthcare processionals have a suicide rate more than twice that of the general population. This is partly because of chronic burnout at work which is now compounded by the current health pandemic.

But the researchers found that religious participation may be a way to sustain ‘a sense of hope and meaning’ in the face of work-based pressure that can lead to grief-stricken thoughts.