Author: Kirby Kraft, Bayer Crop Sciences

September is Suicide Prevention Month, but every month we can all help prevent suicide.  Every year a network of mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise awareness of suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month.  National Suicide Prevention Week is September 5th – 11th and surrounds World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th).  It’s a time to share resources and stories, as well as promote suicide prevention awareness.

Suicide is a serious crisis in the construction industry.  The construction industry has the 2nd highest rate of suicides in the United States at 53.3 per 100,000 workers according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In the U.S. there are approximately 123 suicides per day which breaks down to one death every 12 minutes.

Construction work is ranked as one of  the highest stressful jobs and has high rates of alcohol and drug use, as well as a “tough guy” culture.  An SLC3 construction industry partner, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri has been working collaboratively with other supporting parties throughout the region to provide mental health resources, as well as, Construction Suicide Prevention Campaign materials for your worksite.

The AGC provides a library of resources to plan and participate in Suicide Prevention Week.  The AGC Missouri website provides excellent resources for employees and employers including an extensive library of Toolbox Talk Sheets on Mental Health.  Every employer should consider completing the twelve downloadable toolbox talks to present as “Mental Health Monday” talks.

Mental Health Monday’s Toolbox Talk Sheets
Download includes 12 topics:
1. Mental Health vs Mental Illness
2. Reducing Stigma
3. Stress!
4. Depression vs. Anxiety
5. Self-Care: More Than a Fad
6. Awareness of Your Own Mental Health
7. How to Get Help
8. Suicide Awareness
9. Alcohol & Drug Use
10. Opioids & Other Pain Killers
11. Feeling Fatigued
12. Bullying – Beyond the Schoolyard

These toolbox talks are supported with 12 downloadable “toolbox talk takeaway sheets” to support the presenter in delivery of topics that are often overlooked in our industry.  These valuable resources can be accessed via the link below.

AGC Website Link – Suicide Prevention in Construction Industry Resources

The Builders’ Association also provides resources dedicated to a week of raising awareness about the unique challenges’ workers face in construction that lead to suicide and what we can do to prevent it.  Check it out – together we can save lives.

We can all help to prevent suicide.  The construction industry is hard hit by suicide and our organization can raise awareness of suicide prevention during the month of September around topics the we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about.

Use the resources available and keep the conversation going year-round.  Make sure our employees know mental health is as important as physical health; and educate on how to keep their mind and bodies well together.

Will you keep the conversation going?   #BeThe1To

Blog Sources:

Construction – Stressful Jobs

Alcoholism and Drug Use