There’s work to do, maybe family to take care of. Sometimes the balance gets overwhelming. And sometimes there can be a loneliness that clouds things out and makes it nearly impossible to see what blessings we do have in our lives.
We’ve lately been thinking a lot about this subject. If you’ve been following our Facebook page, you’ve seen our posts about the 77 construction workers who died by suicide last year. In comparison, we lost six workers to on-the-job injuries in that same period. And nationwide, workers in our industry are six times more likely to commit suicide than the average American.
All of these deaths are a terrible loss for families and communities. It feels senseless that we should see so many die in this way, but we don’t have to stand by and do nothing. Nor should we — it’s our charge, our duty to look after one another in this field, in this country. That’s why our AGCW safety director Mandi Kime spoke out recently at a gathering in Olympia seeking more mental health services and funding for suicide prevention. It’s also why we’ve added a ton of suicide prevention resources to our website, most specially tailored to address the epidemic in the construction industry.
There are resources for men who typically don’t seek out therapy, articles with a casual “toolbox talk” theme, and even posters you can print out to display at your jobsites. We’re committed to helping each of you “be vocal, be visible, be visionary” in fighting this struggle, and we’re committed to doing this thing together.