The suicide rate in construction is over four times greater than the rate in the general population. There are many unique factors that cause these high numbers, and it’s important contractors understand what they can do to help reduce this problem.
A Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Blog for the Construction Industry by Bob Swanson
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As a project nears completion in the construction industry, the focus of each member of your crew is usually on what comes next. They think about if they will still have a job after the project is complete, where the next job will be or if they will need to look for work. Project completion creates a great deal of uncertainty for your crew, but also you. You can only be profitable if you have additional projects to complete and skilled workers to do the work. Most of your employees are probably unaware of the stress you experience as projects are completed, and you are likely unaware of their stress also.
Being open and communicating our stress is often the beginning element for better understanding. In July I asked, “Are You Listening?” Leaders (especially in our industry, which has a higher suicide rate) should strive to ensure their company provides an open environment where employees are comfortable discussing the issues of mental health, substance use and suicide. It can be all too easy to shy away from these topics out of fear and/or a lack of understanding. As signatory contractors, however, we understand all too well that “easy” is not always the right solution. Our industry needs to discuss these issues, and your employees need to feel comfortable bringing them up.…