With Fall right around the corner, the CSPP is in full preparation mode for Suicide Prevention Month in September. Suicide prevention is our mission all year, but September shines a spotlight on our work. It is a time to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new connections.
Suicide impacts many people, especially in construction, where the rates are much higher than in other communities. Being intentional about how we talk and promote suicide prevention is important because these conversations save lives. There are many ways to provide your workforce with engaging and informative suicide prevention resources.
Below are some tips to jumpstart your suicide prevention month plans and sustain your efforts all year long. We’ll be expanding on these ideas throughout the month of September.
Give people the space to ask questions and talk about mental health and suicide. Creating conversations is easier than you may think! If you are nervous about starting this conversation, bring in a group from a nonprofit or local mental health clinic to give a presentation on mental health and suicide. That way, you can have experts available to answer questions and safely guide the conversation. The CSPP can deliver or connect you with these resources.
Raise Awareness about Risk and Protective Factors
Suicide is rarely caused by a single circumstance or event. There are clear risk factors that contribute to the high rate of suicide within the industry. The good news is the construction industry manages risk every day. In addition to talking about the risk, provide your workforce with information about protective factors that can mitigate and even prevent a crisis. At the CSPP, we have toolbox talks that address the litany of risk factors and promote protective factors. Check them out here!
Hope is a counterbalance to despair, and it can be fun! Create an event where you recognize and celebrate your team. Providing breakfast, lunch, or an after-work event, preferably substance-free, builds relationships and hope. Remember that suicide prevention is about creating lives that people want to live.
Sustain the Effort
Embed mental health and suicide prevention into your regular safety updates. Ongoing messages, toolbox talks, and flyers on-site will help your team retain information and demonstrate that your company values your team’s mental and physical well-being all year. The CSPP can help with ways to incorporate suicide and mental health messaging into your current communications.