The construction and extraction industries have the second-highest rate of suicide – 53.3 per 100,000 workers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Factors that have led to such a high rate of suicide in construction may include:
- A role that often is isolating
- Periods of unsteady employment depending on seasons
- Mental health stigma
- Sleep disruption
- Chronic pain caused by manual labor
- Travel which may separate workers from families and friends
- Physical strain
- Access to means of committing suicide like high places
- Pressure to finish projects
- Low or inconsistent pay
- Poor working conditions
A free phone app has been launched by the Lighthouse Club construction charity, UK software firm Coins and Building Mental Health, to help construction workers deal with psychological pressures.
Coins says the Construction Industry Helpline app offers “information, advice, and guidance on many wellbeing topics, including stress, anxiety, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol dependency, debt management, legal advice, and emergency financial aid”.
Bill Hill, the Lighthouse Club’s chief executive, added: “The app complements our 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline. We recognize that not everyone feels comfortable talking about their feelings or personal situation, so the app is aimed at people who would like to find out more information about how they can perhaps help themselves or if necessary, take the next step in seeking professional help.”
Hills adds, “It is a preventative tool and aims to provide support at the initial stages of a situation so that the problem does not reach a life critical stage.”