Over the last several years, the rate of suicide has increased, and it is now the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. The construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates compared to other industries. Although there is no simple reason for this increase, learning the warning signs and how to reach out for help could save your life or the life of a co-worker. Have you known someone who experienced suicidal thoughts or died by suicide? What are examples of the warning signs of suicide? How can we help a co-worker when there are warning signs of suicide? The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) provides the following warning signs: Talking about • Wanting to die • Guilt or shame • Being a burden to others Feeling • Empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live • Extremely sad, anxious, agitated, or angry • Unbearable emotional or physical pain Behavior • Planning or researching ways to die; purchasing a gun • Withdrawing from friends, family, or activities, saying goodbye, giving away possessions, or making a will • Agitation or rage ? increased conflict among co-workers • Extreme mood swings • Changes in personality or neglecting their appearance • Taking dangerous risks, such as increased alcohol or drug use or driving recklessly • Eating or sleeping more or less • Increased tardiness and absenteeism from work If someone you know is showing any of these signs, don’t ignore them. Start a conversation. The best way to find out if a person is having suicidal thoughts is to ask directly. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911, take them to a nearby emergency room, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting “HELLO” to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. The counselors provide free and confidential support 24/7 Click here for more information from CPWR’s toolbox talk on the topic of suicide prevention in construction. For more information and resource links regarding suicide prevention, see below in the "Suicide Prevention Month" section of this newsletter.