Addressing mental illness and discussing suicide can be difficult in any situation. During the holiday season, it is especially important to be supportive for our family, friends, and coworkers. While many people are joining together for seasonal festivities, not everyone has the opportunity to share this time with someone they love. Now more than ever, be aware of those around us and how some may need additional support during this time of year.
In a report from 2012 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, construction and extraction workers ranked number two in suicide rates. In the same year, 1,324 workers committed suicide in the industry. The 53.3 rate in construction and extraction workers "is more than four times the overall U.S. suicide rate of 12.5 in 2012.” By becoming more aware of these statistics and challenges facing workers in our industry we can be more conscious of those we work with and aware of opportunities to be supportive.
When faced with challenges of mental illness and suicide consider some tips from the #BeThe1To website.
Ask – research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks after them in a caring way. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.
Keep Them Safe – a number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.
Be There – individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful by after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.
Help Them Stay Connected – studies indicate that helping someone at risk create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
Follow Up – studies have also shown that brief, low cost intervention and supportive, ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after they have been discharged from hospitals or care services.
#BeThe1To help a loved one or coworker move through a difficult situation. We all can do something to prevent suicide and support those with mental illness. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24/7 support and assistant for those in distress and crisis situations. They also provide resources and best practices for professionals. Have a happy holiday season and support those around you.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!