Suicide Prevention Awareness: YOU Are Our Most Important Asset
It’s no secret that construction is a dangerous industry with a high risk of injury. At Keeley Companies, our people are our most important asset and we do everything we can to get our Keeley’ns back home safely to their families at the end of every single day. However, we take it a step further than just physical safety. The mental health and well-being of our team members is incredibly important as the construction industry loses more people to suicide than workplace accidents. The suicide rate in the construction industry is FOUR times higher than that of the national average and we find this number heartbreaking and unacceptable. As an industry, we must do better when it comes to taking care of our people and their mental health.
55.3/100,000 construction workers lose their lives to suicide every year
11th leading cause of death in the US | Men are 3.9x more likely to die by suicide
94% of adults believe suicide can be prevented
As a company, why should we care so much about mental health? Team members should feel that they can bring their full self to work every single day. Should someone be dealing with a personal or work issue, your people should feel supported and that they can be open and honest without the possibility of discrimination or repercussions. When someone is struggling with mental health, it can negatively affect their workplace in many ways:
· Lack of focus and engagement
· Impaired decision-making
· Lower productivity
· Ineffective communication
· Physical capability and daily functioning
This is incredibly important in the construction industry because even the smallest decision can cause injuries or even death. Every single task must be approached with a laser focus and our people need to feel supported when calling out something that may be unsafe, both physically and mentally. OSHA recently released their Suicide Prevention tips – five easy things that everyone can follow and implement to make sure they keep themselves, their team members, and their families safe and healthy:
1. Be Aware – Mental health and suicide can be difficult to talk about, especially with work colleagues, but your actions make a difference. When you work closely with others, you may be able to sense when something is wrong.
2. Pay Attention – There is no single cause for suicide, but there are warning signs. Changes in behavior, mood, or even what they say may signal someone is at risk. Take these signs seriously. It could save a life.
3. Reach Out – If you are concerned about a team member, talk with them privately and listen without judgment. Encourage them to reach out to an Employee Assistance Program, Human Resources, or a mental health professional.
4. Take Action – If you believe a team member is at immediate risk of suicide, stay with them until you can get further help. Contact emergency services with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
5. Learn More – Know what suicide prevention resources are available locally and nationally. Organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and CHADS Coalition are a great place to start.
At Keeley, our culture focuses on fostering the whole person and our cultural pillars have come together to reduce the stigma around mental health and suicide, provide life-changing resources, and support organizations who share this same mission and vision.
KeeleyLife and our People Operations Department offer multiple mental health resources to our Keeley’ns. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides our Keeley’ns and their family with 24/7 access to confidential counselors free of charge. Issues addressed by the EAP include stress management, emotional issues, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, elder care resources, relationship & family problems, chemical dependency, eating disorders, domestic violence, job stress, career frustration, child care needs, grief or loss, work/life issues, and legal guidance. We have also partnered with First Stop Health to provide telemedicine and virtual counseling.
KeeleyU is passionate about educating our Keeley’ns on the importance of mental health and suicide. John Regan, VP of Learning and Strategy, sat down with Dennis Gillan for an episode of his “Under Construction” podcast. Dennis Gillan is the Executive Director of Half a Sorrow Foundation and a renowned TedX speaker. Listen to the episode here as Dennis discusses mental health and suicide prevention from a corporate standpoint, as well as sharing his own personal story. Learn more about the Half a Sorrow Foundation here!
#KeeleyCares is proud to support CHADS Coalition and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. CHADS Coalition is an organization that offers programs to advance the awareness and prevention of depression and suicide. Aside from providing adolescents and young adults ages 25 and under with counseling services and education programs, CHADS serves parents, educators, and community members with resources, presentations, and more to provide a holistic and proactive approach to mental health. As one of our Wall of Compassion charities, many Keeley’ns passionately support CHADS Coalition and their incredible mission. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education, and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. This amazing organization is dedicated to saving lives and brining hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss.
We are proud to do our part to increase awareness around mental health and suicide while reducing the stigma and giving our people a safe space to speak up and feel supported when they are struggling. If you or someone you know is struggling, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. 988 is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health related issues. Moving to this 3-digit dialing code is a once in a lifetime opportunity to strengthen and expand the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text 741741. This is just one step closer to creating a world of understanding and support.