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Construction workers are in a group that is at high-risk for suicide

Mental Health a Grave Concern in the Construction Industry

According to The Center for Disease Control (CDC), construction workers are among some of the highest at-risk population for suicide, and employers are encouraged to take mental health of their employees very seriously.

Due to the alarming truth that suicide was the leading cause of American deaths in 2021, in-depth studies on the mental health of employees has been a priority that often was neglected in the past. And now that studies reveal construction workers rank unusually high in those numbers, researchers are exploring some of the reasons why:

  • Heavy alcohol and drug use. Not only is it a prevalent concern in the construction trade, but men statistically delay seeking help to address these problems. Because this industry remains predominantly male, it is uniquely affected by addiction concerns.
  • Musculoskeletal issues. Much of the drug dependence that prevails among construction workers comes from the injuries that are commonly attributed to hard physical labor. Once individuals find relief appropriately from needed pain medications, there is a temptation by many to develop a dependency on those drugs.
  • Personality types. Self-reliant and stoic personalities are statistically more prone to suicide than others. Look around! The construction industry is full of these! The qualities that bring tremendous success to the job site are also those that increase the risk of not seeking help when needed.

Knowing the mental health risks of the construction trade is the first huge step in addressing the underlying concerns. Employers are encouraged to evaluate their businesses very carefully and make necessary adjustments whenever possible to boost morale and increase mental health among their workers.

In an industry that is challenged with frequent travel and long periods away from family or friends, it is imperative that businesses invest in necessary support programs. Providing a safe emotional environment will make huge strides in attacking the suicide rate among construction workers.


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