With a suicide rate four times higher than the national average, the construction industry is one of the most at-risk industries for suicide. Male-dominated industries tend to have more suicides, and the macho, tough guy culture of construction can discourage those most at risk for suicide from seeking help. There are many other contributing factors that put construction workers at a heightened risk for suicide. However, changing the workplace culture is likely one of the biggest differences we can make to help people come forward and ask for the help they need and deserve.
What Is the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention?
The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) was started in response to a CDC report that ranked construction as the #1 industry for deaths by suicide between 2012 and 2015. CIASP’s mission is to raise awareness about suicide prevention and provide resources and tools to create a zero suicide industry by uniting and supporting the construction community. The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention is made up of contractors, association representatives and union representatives. Jamie Becker, the LHSFNA’s Director of Health Promotion, serves on the CIASP Board of Trustees.
CIASP is dedicated to changing the suicide-related statistics in the construction industry by educating and equipping organizations, industry service providers and construction professionals to STAND up for suicide prevention and address it as a health and safety priority. This is done through providing and disseminating information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction such as tools for developing prevention programs, wallet cards, posters, analysis tools, toolbox talks, screening tools and more.
What Is the CIASP STAND Pledge?
Much of the focus in suicide prevention is on intervening once someone has become suicidal. There are many steps that can be taken earlier in the prevention process to help those in need as soon as possible. By taking the CIASP pledge to STAND up for suicide prevention, organizations agree to promote the principles outlined in the pledge and connect workers with resources so they know how to safely ask the right questions and get the right help.
Now is the time for the industry to STAND up for suicide prevention and address it as a health and safety priority by:
- Creating Safe cultures
- Providing Training to identify and help those at risk
- Raising Awareness about the suicide crisis in construction
- Normalizing conversations around suicide and mental health
- Ultimately Decreasing the risks associated with suicide in construction
There are five different versions of the STAND pledge, including one for contractors, unions, industry associations, industry service providers and project owners. This allows many types of organizations to take the pledge that most applies to the role they can play in suicide prevention. Close to 200 stakeholders – including construction companies, labor unions, industry associations, construction service providers/suppliers and mental health organizations and professionals – have already pledged to STAND up for suicide prevention in the construction industry.
The Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America is proud to be one of those stakeholders. We urge you to click on the link below that best matches your organization and pledge to STAND up for suicide prevention today:
We hope this empowers organizations to take an active role in contributing to suicide prevention in the construction industry. To make a difference, this truly needs to be an all-hands-on-deck effort.
[Jamie Becker is the LHSFNA’s Director of Health Promotion]