According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate in construction occupations is nearly four times greater than the national average and five times greater than that of all other construction fatalities combined.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and Professional Roofing’s September article “Don’t Walk Away” addresses how you can help someone who may be struggling with suicidal feelings.
In the article, author Chad Dunlap, public speaker and business development manager for Frost Roofing Inc., Wapakoneta, Ohio, shares what you should look for if you believe a person is considering suicide, including the person talking about suicide; being increasingly tardy and/or absent; withdrawing from friends and family; seeking means to take his or her life; exhibiting severe mood swings or personality changes; practicing self-harm (intentional cuts, burns, etc.); engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior; increasing use and/or abuse of drugs and alcohol; changing routines; and giving away things of value, typically to someone who will cherish the items.
Dunlap also offers the following examples of small things you can do to show support for someone who is struggling.
- Listen. Simply let the person talk without passing judgment. If they are unwilling to talk, explain you will be there when they are ready.
- Offer reassurance. Let them know they are not alone. Seeking help can feel lonely and sometimes scary.
- Stay calm. Even if their thoughts or situation upset you, try to stay calm. This will allow them to stay calm and open up to you.
- Be patient. Do not ask for too many details, and allow them to determine the pace at which they share their feelings and seek support.
- Try not to make assumptions. Your perspective will be different from theirs. Try not to assume what is causing them pain or what will help.
- Keep in contact. Part of the emotional support you offer could be to keep things as normal as possible. Involve them in social events and take the time to talk about other parts of your lives.