Construction industry pushing to lower high rates of suicide, depression among workers
- Constructions workers are four times more likely to commit suicide than the general U.S. population, KING-TV reports, citing Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics. Long hours, winters without work and long-distance assignments are cited as probable causes for the high suicide rate among construction workers.
- KING-TV, citing another CDC report, says that construction workers' suicide rate is 53.5 per 100,000 workers. When engineers and architects are included in the construction industry's totals, that rises to 85.5 per 100,000 workers — six times the suicide rate of the total U.S. population.
- Advocates of the construction industry are pushing for a program to reduce suicides and depression among workers by identifying the signs of distress.
Employers are recognizing workers' emotional health and establishing programs to address their needs, including wellness programs, employee assistance program (EAP) referrals and 24/7 access to mental health providers. Mental and behavioral health problems often underscore other health issues; investing in caring for total wellness can go a long way in both keeping employees healthy and care costs down.
The construction industry not only recognizes the high suicide rate among its members, it also is pushing for suicide prevention assistance and services for coping with stress and depression. But because the person with the first hint that something is wrong tends to be a manager, employers are training managers to recognize distress signals from workers, without trying to diagnose their conditions. General education programs for all employees can also go a long way in helping those struggling to get help.