For members of the IUPAT, working in the finishing trades industry is a challenging, yet satisfying career.
However, there are high productivity demands on the workforce to meet deadlines, as well as the aspect of danger if strict safety guidelines are not followed.
While those issues are well-known, there are other problems facing the members of our industry – suicide, mental helath and substance use disorder.
Suicide, mental health and substance abuse are no longer taboo topics within the construction industry. For years, construction workers – both union and non-union – suffered in silence.
IUPAT DC 6, in partnership with the International, wants to ensure that our members get the help they need.
Now is the time to address the suicide epedimic facing the construction industry. We strongly urge any member of DC 6 who needs help to get help.
The Helping Hand Program is a good resource to find the information you may need to help yourself, a co-worker, friend or family member.
Other behaviors may also indicate serious risk – especially if the behavior is new, has increased; and/or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention:
Each year, 42,773 Americans die by suicide (an average of 117 suicides per day). For every suicide, there are 25 attempts
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women
White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2014
The rate of suicide is highest in middle age – white men in particular
Research from the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, an organization focused on suicide prevention, has found that industries with the highest risk of suicide have the following factors:
When all these factors are combined together, it becomes clear that those who work in the construction industry face a far greater risk of suicide than those who work in other industries.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, these are just a few of the symptoms and signs of substance use disorder:
Addiction is not a problem of willpower or morality, it is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction cannot simply quit, even if they want to, as drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.
Drugs that are commonly misused include:
While these drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction center of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.
A person with alcohol or drug use disorder also might experience symptoms of withdrawal when they cut back or stop use, such as:
If you need assistance finding food, paying for housing bills, accessing free childcare or other essential services, visit 211.org or dial 211 to speak to someone who can help. This service is run by the United Way.
Call 1-855-378-4373 if you are having difficulty accessing support for your family, or a loved one struggling with addiction faces care or treatment challenges resulting from COVID-19 circumstances.
Support is available in English and Spanish, from 9 a.m. to midnight EST on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. EST on weekends.