We’ve already learned that construction workers are particularly at risk to suicide which is why it’s important to know how to identify the signs of suicide in someone and know how to respond.
Recent research from beyondblue found that few people express their suicidal thoughts to others directly, but they do show signs through changes in their behaviour.
Family members, work colleagues and friends who want to help people thinking about suicide can take simple steps to identify suicidal thoughts and support someone who may be at risk.
Beyondblue recommends the following,
Asking the person how they are feeling and explain changes you have noticed in their behaviour
Listening without judgement and without trying to advise them how to ‘fix’ their situation;
Asking direct questions about whether the person is thinking of suicide and has a plan;
Showing support and suggesting they seek help from GP or a mental health professional
As Beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman points out, you don’t need to be an expert to identify suicide risks and help someone. Harman says there are simple things we can all do and say to reduce suicide in our community,
“It’s natural for family, friends, and workmates to worry about saying or doing the right thing if someone is feeling suicidal.
“But people who have thought about suicide told us through the research that having someone listen to them and show care and support was the most important thing to them – and you don’t need to be a health professional to do that.
“And you can’t put the idea of suicide in somebody’s mind – the research supports that.
“Asking how someone is feeling and asking directly about suicide could be the first step to help someone reconnect with living, and get them the support they need.”
Ms Harman goes on to explain that people considering suicide will usually behave differently, although they will seldom discuss their suicidal thoughts openly. She said they will act and talk about life in a way that raises alarm bells, reflecting that they have no hope for life. She highlighted the importance of taking these suicide indicators seriously.
“It’s important that we and our sector colleagues use this research and continue to work with the community to ensure people have access to information, training, and support so they can act with confidence,” she said.
As we’ve already learned, stressful work conditions are a major risk factor for mental health problems and suicide which explains why concern is high for construction workers. Statistics have proven that construction workers are more likely to die from suicide than people from other industries, probably given the high risk nature of the work, deadline pressures, coupled with other personal issues such as alcoholism, relationship issues and so play a role in people falling into depression.
For more on this topic visit beyondblue.
Please share this post on social media with the icons below or to the left.