In 2020, a group of volunteers from across the construction industry collaborated to launch the inaugural Construction Suicide Prevention Week. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about the higher-than-average number of suicides in the construction industry, and to providing resources to help prevent those deaths. In 2022, Construction Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 5-9.
Every year during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month, the construction industry dedicates a week to raising awareness about the unique challenges workers face in construction that lead to suicide and what can be done to prevent it.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide as well as the highest number of suicides across all occupational groups.
To combat these statistics, contractors, unions, associations, industry service providers and project owners must work together to prevent suicide in the industry.
Therefore, The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) was started in response to statistics released in a CDC study ranking construction as having the highest rate of suicide.
The CIASP became a stand-alone 501(c)(3) organization in 2018 to raise awareness about suicide prevention and provide resources to create an industry with no suicide by uniting and supporting the construction community (after being established by the Construction Financial Management Association in 2016 to halt the stigma surrounding mental health issues).
According to the CIASP, the construction industry is facing a crisis with a suicide rate that is four times greater than the national average. Construction workers are at a heightened risk for suicide for a variety of reasons that can all be addressed, starting with changing the workplace culture.
If someone is thinking about suicide or is in need of help, there are free resources that provide confidential support, including:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For immediate help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).