According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide, as well as the highest number of suicides, across all occupational groups. Safety Evolution is standing up with The Construction Industry Alliance For Suicide Prevention & Associated Builders and Contractors to combat these statistics and spread awareness.
Prioritizing a positive workplace environment where every employee feels a sense of inclusion is imperative in the fight to prevent suicide. Employers should work hard to provide workers with a safe working environment, a strong sense of community, and a place where people enjoy coming to day after day. Ensuring employees feel safe, included in their companies, and feel as though they can be their true selves without the fear of rejection or harassment, their workplace satisfaction increases. By maintaining positive workplace satisfaction, you will in turn promote positive mental health in the workplace.
Here are some ways to prioritize physiological safety in your workplace:
- Implement a Zero Tolerance Bullying Policy in your workplace. Lay out a detailed description of what behavior and communication are acceptable and unacceptable in your company and hold your employees to it. By implementing such a policy, you will ensure there is a standard set that you will not tolerate any sort of abuse towards anyone in the workplace, whether it be physical, verbal, or mental.
- Encourage breaks, time off, and self-care. As an employer, it’s important to remind your workers to take breaks during the workday and to take time off work to do the things they enjoy in order to prioritize their overall health. By encouraging employees to focus on things other than work, you will promote well-being and positive mental health.
- Maintain manageable workloads. No one enjoys being overworked and it certainly isn’t positive to be stressed out and overwhelmed over your workload. Work objectives should be clear cut and expectations should be realistic in order to avoid employee burnout. Ensure employees have an open communication method with supervisors to express if they are feeling overwhelmed in any capacity and ensure supervisors know how to appropriately set up and offer help or plan for delegation.
- Remain aware of those around you and look out for one another. If you notice someone struggling, don’t ignore it. Speak up if you think someone is struggling, dealing with burnout, seems overwhelmed, down, or bothered. And don’t be afraid to reach out if the person struggling is you!
- Engage in team-building exercises. Promoting a work community that favors inclusion and a feeling of togetherness is a great way to promote positive mental health. By creating this sense of togetherness as a team, employees are more likely to feel supported and may be more likely to reach out if they are in need of help.
- Recognize hard work. Give recognition where recognition is due! A little positive validation goes a long way and could make someone’s day. Making sure your workers know what a great job they are doing on a regular basis to ensure everyone is reminded that what they are doing matters.
By creating a positive environment where your employees feel safe, supported, and feel as though they are a part of a community, you help foster a positive mental health atmosphere for your workplace.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please know that you are not alone. Below are some helpful resources to utilize in times of need:
- Emergency: 911
- Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
- Crisis Text Line: Text "DESERVE" TO 741-741
- Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online live messaging): https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
- Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
- Essential local and community services: 211, https://www.211.org/
- Planned Parenthood Hotline: 1-800-230-PLAN (7526)
- American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
- National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line: 1-800-622-2255
- National Crisis Line - Anorexia and Bulimia: 1-800-233-4357
- GLBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
- TREVOR Crisis Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
- AIDS Crisis Line: 1-800-221-7044
- Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
- TransLifeline: https://www.translifeline.org - 877-565-8860
- Emergency: 911
- Crisis Text Line (Powered by Kids Help Phone): Text "DESERVE" TO 686868
- YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/
- Crisis Services Canada: http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/
- Bell Let's Talk: https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
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