Our goal throughout this blog is to prevent injury. While we typically focus on prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, we have been known to color outside of the box. 

This time we are talking about something a little more serious. YES, all safety is serious, but this matter is one that is often not talked about because it can be uncomfortable.

Let’s talk about Suicide awareness

Did that just make you squirm a little? GOOD. This is a topic that we should all be at least slightly savvy on, particularly in the industrial workspace. This is because suicide rates can be up to 5x as high in those that work in industrial settings as the actual fatality rate is in those settings

Translation? For every 1 work related fatality that happens in the workplace setting, up to 5 more happen by suicide to the same individuals that work in that setting.

You may be thinking…suicidal thoughts have never occurred to you. However, they might have with your co-workers. The CDC reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. That statistic as well as the increased prevalence in manual labor settings is a good reason to be aware of these signs and know where to go for help.

What should we be looking for then?

A change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors is what we should have our “feelers” up for. When it is related to a painful event, loss, or change it is even more concerning. 

*Remember, most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs either through what they say or what they do.

What they say:

  • Talking about killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain

What they do:

  • Increase use of alcohol or drugs
  • Look for a way to end their lives (search online for methods)
  • Withdraw from activities, family, and friends
  • Sleep too much or too little
  • Visit or call people to say goodbye
  • Give away prized possessions
  • Increased aggression
  • Increased fatigue

Let’s all help stop the stigma

Myth: Asking someone about suicide may plant the idea in their minds. 

It DOESN’T. End the stigma. Start a conversation. Promote wellness. Be a resource. Check out our tool box talk with additional information. Use it to educate your workforce.

Where to go? 

Keep this number handy. Put it in your contacts. You never know when it will be needed.

National Crisis Line phone number:

  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Text HELLO to 741741
  • Prevención Nacional del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454