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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – It’s time To Talk About #MentalHealth And #Suicide


The #construction industry has one of the highest #suicide rates of any. It’s time we talked about it and it’s time this changed because it’s important

Working in the building and construction industry is extremely demanding. There are huge expectations on the workers in order to fulfill deadlines, as well as working circumstances that may be dangerous if safety rules are not followed. The #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention (#CDC) reports that #male workers that work in construction have a 65% higher rate than all U.S male workers. According to the same report, there are various work-related risk factors that are taking their toll on the construction workers in the worst way imaginable.

While further study is required to understand these work-related factors, #CDC indicates that #suicide risk is related to the following:

  • low skilled labor
  • lower education
  • relative low
  • socioeconomic status
  • access to lethal means
  • job #stress
  • poor supervision and colleague support
  • low job control
  • job insecurity

 The report shows that construction workers working in the physical position in construction are at higher risk for #suicide. Research studies, as well as experts working with #mentalhealth in construction industries, show that these factors are the main cause of #mentalhealthproblems that lead to #suicide for construction workers.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

Factors that lead to higher risks of #suicide

Construction is one of the industries with the highest work-related fatalities due to safety risks in the workplace. However, #suicide (and #mentalhealthproblems) comes after that, affecting thousands of construction workers every year.

According to Kirk Bol, a vital statistician at Colorado Center for Health and Environmental Data, #male #suicide decedents within the industry were less likely to be diagnosed and treated for #mentalhealthproblems. The lack of treatment for #mentalhealthissues minimises the chance to prevent #suicide among the workers.

According to experts, a high work-pressure environment, working at remote locations, tough guy mentality, and opioids dependency are the main factors putting construction workers at risk for #suicide.

A high work-pressure environment

The construction industry operating on strict deadlines is one of the many causes of #mentalhealthissues in the industry. Such a schedule can put pressure on the workers, and when workers don’t meet the deadline, they can be subject to fines. 

Whatsmore, construction is a high-stress environment with complications of different natures occuring every day. When you add together the pressure from the management and the workplace complications, you find construction workers jeopardising their health and working longer hours just to meet deadlines, budgets, and quality expectations.

Work-related #stress is not an isolated event, but rather an ongoing one, building up over time, and placing the construction workers at risk of #mentalhealthproblems that lead to #suicide.

All these factors can build up contributing to #mentalhealth problems. If they are left undiagnosed, it increases their chances of #suicide.

Work at remote locations

Construction often requires work in remote locations. The transfer to distant locations means living in hotels, which can be a lonely experience.

This means, atop a high-pressure environment where they work, workers spend the rest of the days away from family and friends, distancing them from their main support system. The separation from the family creates the space for the family to move without you, leading to marriage and parenting problems, said Spencer-Thomas.

“#Mentalhealth or substance abuse challenges may be more likely to go unnoticed or unaddressed in situations like this,” added McGough Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist at BASE Cognitive Behavioral.

The “tough-guy” mentality

As construction is a #male-dominated industry with workers mainly from low educational backgrounds, masculinity prevents them from acknowledging their #mentalhealthproblems. As the “tough guy” taboo prevails in their work environment, openness is not appreciated, and “many in the field may be afraid of appearing ‘weak’ if they acknowledge a struggle,” says McGough.

Moreover, the stoicism and fearlessness they show can lead to impulsive risk-taking and destructive #behaviors, says Spencer-Thomas.

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels.com

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