Did you know the construction sector has the highest rate of suicide of any industry in the U.S.?
According to the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the tough façade many construction workers show might lead you to think that nothing can faze them. In reality, that toughness can sometimes mask deep personal pain, discouraging those most at-risk for suicide from seeking the help they need.
Mental anguish and suffering is real. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages. Every 11 minutes, someone in the U.S. takes their own life. By drawing attention to Suicide Prevention Month in September (#SeptemberSTANDup), we here at ABC Maine hope to raise more awareness around this critical issue. The more informed we all are, the more lives we can help save.
Education is Vital
During the COVID-19 crisis, many have struggled with increased anxiety and feelings of isolation. Left unresolved, these feelings can lead to suicidal thoughts—or worse, suicidal behavior.
LivingWorks is a program established through CIASP that offers information on how to identify and help those at-risk. By taking advantage of the organization’s free, hour-long online suicide prevention training sessions, people can learn how to better cope with their fears and anxieties—and how to get the help they need.
Employees at ABC are taught to recognize the signs of suicide—which can vary from person to person. Red flags include:
- Talking about committing suicide
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness
- Worrying about being a burden to others
- Increased social isolation
- A spike in the use of drugs and alcohol
- Displaying rage or volatile mood swings
By identifying these behaviors, employees are better able to take decisive action—whether to help themselves or a fellow coworker. The goal of any employer should be to foster a safe working environment and a constructive, collaborative, caring culture.
When people are comfortable enough to share their feelings about suicide and mental health, lives can be saved.
Help is Available
Here ABC Maine, resources are available to all, and everyone in our community is encouraged to stand up and pledge their commitment to suicide prevention.
To that end, employees and other employers are encouraged to check out multiple tools and additional resources on CIASP’s website. Any company can integrate those suggestions into its own company culture and wellness programming to save lives.
People in an acute crisis—one where they are having thoughts of suicide, or are hurt—should call 911 for immediate attention.
The Suicide Awareness Voices of Education organization also says people may also call Lifeline (USA) at 1-800-273-8255, or text SIGNS to 741741 for around-the-clock anonymous and free crisis counseling.