Suicide the second leading cause of death in the construction industry
The construction industry is starting to look at a hidden problem with deadly consequences.
Donna Grant, a marketing manager at Scott Construction, addressed the issue of suicide for attendees of the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance’s (BCCSA) Bridging the Gap safety conference on Oct. 26 in Vancouver. Grant said suicide is the second leading cause of death in the construction industry in men aged 25 to 59, and the highest rates are men from 40 to 59.
“But the good news is that everyone in this room is in a position to change that,” Grant said.
She emphasized that suicide is preventable and despite social stigma “it’s OK to talk about suicide. Asking doesn’t provoke the act, it can in fact reduce anxiety and help people feel understood.
“If you reach out to someone with suicidal thoughts, you may be their one lifeline,” Grant said.
The nature of the construction industry at present also contributes to a culture that is uncomfortable with dealing with suicide and other mental illness issues, Grant said.
“The work can be feast or famine. You can be working crazy long hours and then suddenly be out of work, so there’s a high stress factor to that,” she said.Scott Construction
Demographics also play a role. Construction is still male-dominated, Grant said, and “men don’t tend to seek out help as readily as women might.”
“There’s a perception of if you show how you really feel, you might be seen as weak by your co-workers,” she added.
One of the leading indicators someone is contemplating suicide is if they joke about the matter, Grant said, especially if under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“The statistics go through the roof if there’s substance abuse involved. It’s a whole new ball game,” she said. “Those things can go hand in hand, substance abuse and suicide. If that’s part of the equation, you really have to look at the situation with a sense of urgency.”
Other signs to look for include ideation, which is the occurrence of suicidal thoughts, as well as substance abuse and a feeling of being trapped. Those contemplating suicide often also feel hopeless or helpless.
“They feel there’s nothing to do to change the pain they’re feeling and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel,” Grant said.
Withdrawal from social interaction, anger, engaging in risky behaviour and sudden mood changes are also indicators.
Continue reading on Journal of Commerce: https://canada.constructconnect.com/joc/news/ohs/2018/10/construction-safety-includes-suicide-prevention
Learn more about our Employee Benefits Plan, created specifically for the construction industry, and how it can offer support for your physical and mental wellbeing: https://www.vicabc.ca/membership/employee-benefits-plan/
Updates to the Continuing Professional Development Program for Licensed Residential Builders
Good jobs and better communities through social procurement on Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast
BC construction industry announces new "Builders Code" to improve and promote safe and productive worksite behavior
Another record year for Vancouver Island construction; Nanaimo and Capital Regional Districts lead in total value of building permits issued
Registration now open for Canada’s top Lean construction event
Hockey 4 Food; Canucks Alumni VS Loaves & Fishes
Construction of Marriott hotel in downtown Nanaimo expected to start in 6 to 8 weeks
Technology Students Available for Hire for 2019 Summer
Feeling the love: Construction leaders contribute to the community through charity casino
Canadian Construction Association (CCA) introduces mentorship pilot program
Mazzei Electric & Waymark Architecture recognized for their work at Business Excellence Awards
Why Millennials Are Great for Engineering and Construction [Excerpt]
Exposing the vulnerable side of cranes and other heavy machinery through hackers
BC Government launches southern Vancouver Island transportation strategy
Targeted relief on Aluminium and Steel: Stability is still needed
Taking Care of #1 This Winter
Island construction companies support local families through VICA's Holiday Toy Drive
Lean Construction: Changing The Way Industry Works Together
CVRD Issues RFP for Water Treatment Project Following Grant Funding Announcement
Victoria Airport Authority Announces New Directors; Paul Gerrard of Irwin Industries Elected
Canadian Construction Industry on the Hill: Unite. Evolve. Lead
CCA applauds government’s initiatives to restore business confidence
Q3 2018: Apartment building stalls in the CRD; growth accelerates in the Alberni-Clayoquot & Mount Waddington RD
BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
The construction industry is a dynamic and exciting realm that faces both unique challenges and extraordinary opportunities. By joining VICA, you not only build your business, but you also build up the industry you're proud to be a part of.JOIN NOW