Studies show that male construction workers have the highest rate of suicide among American workers. This statistic may come as a shock to many, but members of the industry must face this harsh truth and work to foster a safer and more healthy environment for construction workers. Read on to learn more about how we can work together to decrease this statistic.
Fight the Stigma
Construction is a male-dominated industry, and men are statistically less likely to receive treatment for mental health issues. While there may be many reasons for this, it’s absolutely true that there is a stigma associated with men showing weakness and talking openly about their feelings. Men are also more likely to die by suicide than women, so it’s time to let me know that mental illness isn’t a sign of weakness.
It’s easy for men in the construction industry, especially those who identify as LGBTQ, to isolate themselves when they feel the symptoms of mental illness. Many are embarrassed by the fact or unsure of where to go to get help. Offering safe places to talk about what they may be going through could make a big difference in fighting the stigma of mental illness.
Education is Key
It’s absolutely necessary to teach workers in the construction industry to recognize the signs of depression and suicidal feelings in their coworkers. If a worker seems to have a sudden shift in personality or begins to withdraw from their coworkers, this may be a warning. Also, be on the lookout for workers who are giving away possessions or those who talk about wanting to die and those who seem like they’re saying goodbye.
If workers are taught to recognize the warning signs and can report them to the proper authority, we can work together to save lives.
Construction workers often work long hours and can be away from their families and friends for extended periods. This is why it’s essential to provide workers with resources onsite. We can strive to foster social connections among coworkers by creating support groups, and we can offer economic help and medical resources to those who are struggling. We can also work to reduce lethal means for suicide on the worksite for at-risk individuals.
Education, resources, and support are the keys to suicide prevention among construction workers.
Recognize employee concerns and address them accordingly. When your employees feel recognized and respected, they will bring up workplace concerns whenever they arise, allowing leaders to stop them from becoming bigger issues. Schedule a TellZen demo today.