The rate of suicide among construction workers is so high, construction companies have taken notice and they're doing something about it. Locally, scroll down to see how one company has made changes to save lives.

Canva/Rabe
Canva/Rabe
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National Mental Illness Awareness Week, created by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is the perfect time to talk about the surprisingly high rate of suicide in the construction industry.

Why Are Construction Workers Completing Suicide So Often?

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Thinkstock
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How high is the rate of suicide in the world of construction? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says just over 50 per 100,000 workers. That is the second-highest rate of suicide when you take ALL US industries into account.

Forbes.com broke it down...and the construction industry has such huge numbers because of who they employ. Mostly men.

  • Construction jobs are still made up predominantly of young males. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for men in the United States between the ages of 25 and 54.
  • Men in high-stakes and high-skill occupations are almost 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • People in occupations that don’t require any education after high school are at a higher risk of suicide. (SOURCE)

Hear How One Construction Company Is Trying to Change the Numbers

Gina Boldt (right) tells James Rabe about how one construction firm is changing things.
Gina Boldt (right) tells James Rabe about how one construction firm is changing things.
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It was a conversation I had at the NAMIWalks Your Way SE Minnesota that opened my eyes. Hear that conversation with Gina Boldt of Boldt Construction...just click play. (To read the automatically generated transcript, just scroll past the player).

Click or tap for an automatically generated transcript PDF of the conversation with Gina Boldt. 

Are You Saying Men Are Predisposed to Suicide?

No. The way men are raised, though, has historically been about strength and bravery. Hide your feelings and keep going. That's changing, but until admitting you have a problem of any sort doesn't make you feel weak, or like a failure, the numbers may not drop much.

NAMI
NAMI
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This is why it's Mental Illness Awareness Week. Mental Illness is not something that needs to be whispered about. Just ask some high school kids, they know. Heck, they have Mental Health Awareness Clubs in area high schools. As adults, we can learn a lot about being open and ready to talk when we need help.

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Sometimes the greatest way to feel better, at least for a while, is a good, old-fashioned, wholesome distraction. Just remember to bring warm clothes with you, you're in Minnesota!

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As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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