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A Conversation about Depression and Suicidal Ideation

A Conversation about Depression and Suicidal Ideation

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health, suicide or substance use crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support via the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.


September is National Suicide Prevention Month and MCCEI is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to bring you a webinar on Suicidal Ideation in the Construction Workforce. Taking place on Thursday, September 1 at 1pm, we will discuss the effects of suicidal ideation and addiction on the industry and how we as leaders can face this problem head-on. Join us, sign up for this important webinar here.


Attend the Free Webinar: Eventbrite – Dashboard


The construction industry has the second highest rate of suicide in the United States at 53.3 per 100,000 workers according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Annually, more construction workers die from suicide than every other workplace-related fatality combined. In 2018, OSHA reported 1,028 construction deaths, but 5,242 suicides by construction workers that year, equating to a rate of 45.3 per 100,000. This compares with an average male suicide rate of 27.4 per 100,000.


Several factors contribute to the high number of suicides in the construction industry.

It is our job as employers and industry leaders to engage in practices that can best mitigate these fatal effects.


Jobsite Culture

Harassment and bullying on the jobsite due to racial, emotional, sexual or gender differences can lead to suicidal ideation. The culture of ‘man up, soldier on’ can increase these effects.



According to the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP), the very nature of construction work predisposes workers to suicidal ideation. “Moving from jobsite to jobsite can create an environment in which workers are not as connected to their families, each other, or a workplace community. Coupled with working long or irregular hours, sleep patterns can be impacted, causing sleep deprivation and mental and physical exhaustion.”


Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) cited the construction and mining industries as having the highest rate of heavy alcohol use for full-time adult workers.18 This same survey determined that construction workers also have one of the highest rates of illicit drug use. Recently, however, the correlation between substance abuse and suicide has become more pronounced.


Illicit drug use and alcohol consumption significantly impact our industry. Though different chemicals affect the body differently, any substance abuse eventually takes its toll, causing physical, mental, and emotional damage to the user. Our nation’s growing opioid addiction has infiltrated all industries, and construction workers—already prone to on-the-job injuries—are no exception.


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