Get them talking: If you were having a hard time, would you be comfortable speaking to me about it? Would would you turn to if you needed help? Keep them talking: How do you feel about asking for help when you need it? What gets in the way? Have you ever been given the chance to help someone who needed it? Is there anyone on your team who might need some to talk to? Points to consider: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for men between the ages of 45 and 54… and suicide rates amongst the construction industry are three to five times higher than the national average. The male-dominated, tough-it-out culture within many trades makes it difficult for some people to ask for, or offer, help. By asking these questions, we may make it a bit easier for someone to come to use if they need help. If someone does come to you with a personal problem, a substance abuse issue, or a mental health concern:
- Listen. You don’t need to have answers or know what to say. Often, just having someone talk to will make all the difference.
- Ask direct questions. Difficult as it may be, it’s important to be direct about the topic of suicide and to approach it in a way that is compassionate and understanding.
- Direct them to qualified resources. Once you’ve started the conversation, the important next step is to put the person in touch with the appropriate resources. Organizations such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Construction Working Minds and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provide tools and treatment resources for those in need of assistance. For those organizations with employee assistance programs,