There’s a brand-new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. The 988 lifeline connects callers to an existing network of more than 200 local crisis call centers across the United States, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number—1 (800) 273-8255—will route calls to 988. The goal is to aid those seeking help through safe, immediate intervention, similar to the 911 hotline for emergencies.
ABC has made it a strategic priority for all of its members and chapters to commit to reducing suicide in the construction industry through its Total Human Health Initiative. ABC and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention formed a collaborative partnership in March to address mental health and suicide prevention throughout the U.S. construction industry.
In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the construction industry had one of the highest rates of suicide among their workers. The predominance of construction workers have similar demographics to the broader at-risk population:
- Construction workers are mostly males. Males are more likely to die by suicide.
- The average age of a construction worker is over 40 and increasing at a faster rate than the average age for all workers in the United States. Suicide is highest among older individuals.
- Military veterans and targeted youth populations are coming into the construction trades and face physical and psychological challenges, as well as social risk factors and influences. These factors lead to higher suicide rates in these populations.
The U.S. workforce spends many hours at the workplace each week, making it a vital touchpoint for providing access to mental health resources for working-age adults. In fact, the Surgeon General’s 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention specifically targets employers as critical stakeholders in the prevention of suicide. Across the construction sector, we must rise to meet this challenge by incorporating mental health and wellness as core business values.
Learn more about how to prevent construction suicide at preventconstructionsuicide.com. Access resources for raising awareness of the 988 hotline and other mental health crisis services from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including public service announcements and social media sharables.