Mooresville, N.C. (September 1, 2023) – Tyler Ankrum, driver of the No. 16 LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, in conjunction with the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA), has partnered to promote National Suicide Prevention Awareness month in September through Hope Lives, a campaign designed to raise awareness about the mental health crisis in the construction industry. A Hope Lives decal will adorn the No. 16 at all three NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) CRAFTSMAN Truck Series events in September at Kansas Speedway (September 8), Bristol Motor Speedway (September 14) and Talladega Superspeedway (September 30).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), construction occupations have one of the highest suicide rates across all occupational groups. In 2020, the rate of suicide among workers in general industry was 9.5 per 100,000. In construction, the rate was 45 per 100,000, almost five times higher. The construction industry is facing a crisis as construction workers are at a heightened risk of suicide. To combat these statistics, LIUNA Racing and Tyler Ankrum want to take a STAND and drive to promote suicide prevention and awareness.
“In the construction industry, mental health awareness and suicide prevention are just as important as traditional job safety issues,” said Tyler Ankrum, driver of the No. 16 LIUNA Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. “As a LIUNA member myself, I know the staggering statistics of mental health in construction. Now, more than ever, it is imperative we work together to prioritize strengthening and protecting our own mental health and well-being, the well-being of our LIUNA brothers and sisters, as well as members of the NASCAR community and beyond.”
Through “STAND” (Safe, Train, Awareness, Normalize, Decrease) Toolbox Talks, Ankrum will break down best practices for suicide prevention through a series of social media posts to help promote the health and wellness of Laborers’, their family members, and the NASCAR community, alike.
“We know that building strong buildings, bridges and roads starts with building strong support for our Laborers’ mental well-being,” says LIUNA General President and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman Brent Booker. “While we’ve seen positive progress in how mental health is addressed in the construction industry, too many workers still lose their lives to suicide every year. That’s why we’re proud to partner with LIUNA Member Tyler Ankrum in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series to raise awareness around the importance of mental health and highlight available resources this National Suicide Prevention Awareness month.”
There is no single cause of suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It most often occurs when stress and health issues converge to create feelings of hopelessness and despair. A combination of environmental, health, historical, and occupational factors can increase the risk of suicide. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems, especially when left untreated, can also increase the risk. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, or you need help, you can call or text “988.” Help is available 24/7/365.
About the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America:
The Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA) is a joint labor-management Fund built around the common interests of LIUNA members and their signatory employers. We know that providing outstanding health promotion and occupational safety and health programs leads to happier, more fulfilling lives for Laborers and their families, as well as healthier bottom lines for employers. We provide a variety of programs and services that help keep Laborers in healthy, working conditions so they can build fruitful, long lives for themselves and their families. For more on what we do, visit www.lhsfna.org.
Click here to access the dedicated LHSFNA Suicide Prevention Resources page.