September Is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Make Suicide Prevention a Part of Construction Safety Culture
Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). While this topic is important to discuss year-round, September is suicide prevention awareness month, a dedicated time to raise awareness on the subject and connect individuals having suicidal thoughts to resources and treatment services. “The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because one conversation can change a life,” says NAMI.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that suicides are rising among the whole population, with male construction workers having the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. Dr. Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, points out that increasing suicide rates is a concerning trend that impacts the American workforce. “Knowing who is at greater risk for suicide can help save lives through focused prevention efforts,” says Dr. Houry.
Understanding that the construction industry is at greater risk emphasizes the importance of suicide prevention awareness and the resources available. The Construction Financial Management Association established the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit organization to focus these efforts and provide information and resources. For more information about the Alliance and to download free flyers, posters, and other resources, visit their suicide prevention webpage.
These issues can be difficult to discuss in the workplace, so consider posting helpline information on your jobsites to provide support to your employees. OSHA’s suicide prevention webpage also provides links to a variety of resources and directs people dealing with work-related stress to get confidential support through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
For additional information, please visit NFC's Suicide Prevention Topical Library.