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Article / Addressing Suicide and Mental Health in Construction

Addressing Suicide and Mental Health in Construction.

In September, the AGC spearheaded efforts to help construction trades fight a growing epidemic: Suicide. It's a real problem and one we will no longer ignore.

Suicide in the construction industry has the second highest rate of suicides among all occupations and of those, four out of five suicide deaths are males. It's no secret that construction is a male dominated industry with a macho culture. No more. It's a job for all of us to learn what what need to do to help someone in need.

It's not always obvious when a friend or coworker is struggling, but they often show signs of suicidal thoughts in subtle ways. While some comments or threats could sound like just talk, they can become dangerous quickly and it's important to STEP IN and SPEAK UP if you see any of these signs of imminent danger:

Feeling desperate Talking about suicide or wanting to die Withdrawal Depression
Tying up loose ends Seeking access to lethal means Feel like a burdenIncreased alcohol or drug use
Saying good-bye Anxiety or agitation Reckless behavior
Sudden mood changes Aggressive behavior or uncontrolled anger Changes in habits

  • Bring it to the attention of your foreman or supervisor.
  • Start the conversation. Use non-judgemental language, asking directly about suicide. Ask, then listen. If the answer is yes, remain calm, keep them safe and get help.
  • Refer them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Crisis Text Line, or use any of Carpenters' resources below. Store these numbers in your phone for use or referral.
If you believe a coworker is in imminent danger or has already harmed himself or herself, call 911.

Need help for you or someone you know? 24/7 confidential help is available.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   800.273.8255 Text HELLO to 741741
Carpenters Wellness Center 314.955.WELL (9355)*
Teladoc Mental Health 800.DOC.CONSULT Download the App in your App Store
Carpenters Member Assistance Program 314.729.4600, #2 Toll-Free 800.413.8008, #2

*Make an appointment with our onsite Behavioral Health Counselor