Sawhorse Advisory #34 – Construction Industry at High Risk for Suicide

The construction industry is in the top nine occupations at risk for suicide.

The safety of our employees is a high priority for us. Suicide is a major health and safety issue. The pain that leads people to take their lives is hard to imagine. Their deaths leave families and friends grieving, and often have a huge effect on communities. Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide globally; this is about one person dying every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year from suicide is more than the number of deaths from murder and war combined. Mental health challenges (especially depression and alcohol use) are a major risk factor for suicide. Connectedness is crucial to people who might consider suicide. We know that isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, that having strong human bonds can protect people from it. Reaching out to those who have become disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship can be a life-saving act.

What Should You Say if You are Worried Someone Might be Suicidal?

First: “I’ve noticed ______________(list specific behaviors), and I am concerned.”

Second: “Given what you’ve been going through, it would be understandable if you were thinking about suicide. I am wondering if this is true for you.”

Third: “Tell me more about your thoughts of suicide and your distress.” [LISTEN]

Fourth: “Thank you for trusting me. I am on your team; you are not alone. I have some ideas that might help.”

Fifth: Suggest resources:

  • 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
  • ManTherapy.org
  • Other local mental health resources

Source: WorkingMinds.org

Warning Signs

Some behaviors may indicate that a person is at immediate risk for suicide. The following three should prompt you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or a mental health professional.

  1. Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself. Communication may be veiled, such as: “I just can’t take it anymore.” or “What’s the use?”
  2. Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun.
  3. Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live. Other behaviors may also indicate serious risk – especially if the behavior is new, has increased; and/or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
    • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
    • Talking about being a burden to others
    • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
    • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
    • Sleeping too little or too much
    • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
    • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
    • Displaying extreme mood swings (SPRC)

We care about you! Don’t hesitate to talk to your supervisor or co-workers about personal issues!

All lives are worth saving!

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