Construction Community ‘STANDS’ Against High Suicide Rates

NEW ORLEANS — Each year in September, the mission of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) is to promote suicide awareness and prevention by helping construction industry businesses and affiliates use their tools and resources as a way of integrating suicide prevention into their company culture as a Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) priority. 

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide, as well as the highest number of suicides across all occupation groups. To combat these statistics, contractors, unions, associations, industry service providers and project owners must work together to promote suicide prevention.

Landis Construction is committed to this annual initiative by continuing to learn and talk about the factors leading up to suicide within the industry. We are prioritizing mental health as a key focus among our employees and trade partners, and we are striving to make an impact through continual improvements in the quality of our work environments.

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Almost everyone has been impacted in some way by suicide or knows a person who has experienced the effects of suicide on their family or group of friends. Training people how to properly manage crises and stressful situations, and to be watchful for the same in their peers, can often empower them and others to get through tough times. During the week of September 19, we held daily “Tool Box Talks” on the job sites and in the Landis Office to discuss the five areas of focus represented by the acronym STAND: safety, training, awareness, normalizing and decreasing.

As the saying goes, you are your neighbor’s/sister’s/brother’s keeper, and we apply this mindset while at work and on the job sites. If you see something, say something. If you notice someone looking stressed or strained, take a moment to check on them. There is no need to pressure them or pry, but sometimes simply asking another person if they are okay or if they need help with something can brighten their day and cause them to feel valued and less isolated. In doing so, perhaps it will open a door for them to seek or request help. Quite often, a simple acknowledgment of another person can change the outcome of events for them at that moment. 

The leadership team at Landis Construction and I are happy to speak with anyone who may be struggling or who might have any concerns or questions about this subject. This applies to our company and to our entire greater New Orleans construction community. While it’s a difficult subject to talk about in a historically “tough” industry, we all have feelings and emotions, and our jobs and lives can become quite stressful. As a team, we are all able to support each other and I am committed to remaining available for anyone who has a need or is simply seeking out someone to listen.

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Kyle D Condon is the chief construction officer at Landis Construction

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