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Suicide Awareness and Prevention

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The Truth: It’s OK to Not Be OK

Creating conversations about mental health in a high-hazard and high-stress industry

Each year, September is observed as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and within it, Construction Suicide Prevention Week occurs during the first full week of the month. These industry awareness months provide an opportunity to amplify important and meaningful conversations around topics that are critical to recognize year-round. As part of team engagement throughout September, Brubacher’s leadership team created conversations within the workplace about mental health and suicide prevention to encourage team camaraderie and remind individuals that it’s OK to not be OK. Our people are our greatest asset, and having a safe environment where they can be honest about their feelings and find support when working through personal struggles can make all the difference in how they handle stress, doubt, and mental health.

“Taking a holistic approach to checking in on each other, whether at work or at home, is important. Life is tough and people experience all types of stress. Being present and being a non-judgmental listening ear can be very impactful for those who are facing personal struggles,” shared Larry W., Workplace Chaplain at Brubacher.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the suicide rate for construction workers is four times higher than in the general population. From working long hours and traveling to different jobsites to spending time away from family, there are a range of factors that can impact mental health. But, because of longstanding stereotypes such as “those who work in the construction industry are tough” and “it is a weakness to open up about your feelings,” many resist seeking the help they need.

At Brubacher, we opened up conversation about mental health and suicide prevention to remind each other that it’s OK to not be OK and that there are several resources available anytime to anyone who needs help. We re-grounded in the services available through Brubacher’s employee assistance program (EAP), ensured the team knew how they could connect with our workplace chaplain and the ways he could offer support, and shared daily reminders of the risk factors and warning signs of suicide.

“Self-awareness is a big part of suicide awareness. Truly knowing yourself, how you handle stressful situations, and recognizing your triggers are all key to knowing when you are not OK and when you should talk with someone. At Brubacher, our team members know each other very well. Working together to create an environment where it is acceptable to ask questions, talk, and be real in support of one another is vital,” shared Pete D., HR Generalist.

Safety Director Dave M. added, “Mental health has a direct connection to safety. If someone is distracted at work, it can become dangerous very quickly for them and those around them. If someone is not working at their full capacity or does not seem like their normal self, our site supervisors are trained to address the individual to ensure they are OK and provide the proper resources, if necessary.”

At Brubacher, Shaping The World We Live In inspires our hearts to help shape our people and ensure they feel valued, supported, and cared for. Resources are readily available to help our team members be the best version of themselves. If you or someone you know is facing a difficult time, we encourage you to reach out to a friend, family member, or coworker and start a conversation knowing that it’s OK to not be OK. Help is available, and your life matters.

If you or someone you love needs support, please consider the following resources: