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Suicide: You Just Never Know

The Fatal Danger of NOT Talking About It

Suicide has been in the headlines recently with some high-profile deaths that caused shock and devastation.

Research suggests that suicide rates are on the rise and construction workers are particularly vulnerable.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), construction workers have the second-highest rate of suicide in the nation. This means that for every 100,000 workers, 53 will take their life each year.

This is an alarming statistic, especially for an industry that places so much emphasis on safety and Zero Harm. Contributing factors are believed to be as follows:

  • Periods of unsteady employment depending on seasons
  • Stigma around mental health 
  • Sleep disruption
  • Chronic pain caused by manual labor
  • Travel which may separate workers from families and friends
  • Physical strain
  • Access to means of committing suicide
  • Pressure to finish projects

Experts also believe that the number of suicides in construction is largely exacerbated by the 'tough guy’ mentality and culture that continues to exist in many workplaces. This can mean that for many individuals (particularly men), there is a reluctance to admit they are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal feelings. This presents the risk that mental health issues are overlooked, downplayed or left untreated.

Nobody is invincible and mental health issues can arise for anyone, at any time. If you are feeling suicidal or experiencing any kind of crisis we urge you to seek immediate assistance through any of the following resources:

  • Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK
  • Calling 911

Talking about suicide and removing the stigma associated with mental health is an important step towards prevention. As teammates we have a responsibility to look out for one another and recognize the signs that someone may be at risk and in need of a helping hand.

Please take a quick moment to read up on the signs to watch out for in your teammates and loved ones and be willing to ask the simple but important questions such as: are you ok? Can I do anything to help? Do you want to talk about it?

Let’s start the conversations so we can put an end to the stigma and tragic loss of life.