James Woodcock, Samaritans corporate fundraising manager, writes:
Statistically, construction workers across the industry are at higher risk of suicide than average.
An ONS survey, Suicide by Occupation, released in March this year, found that manual workers in construction are at 3.7 times greater risk of suicide than their peers in other sectors.
Some people find it difficult to be open about their problems and, equally, to ask for help when they’re struggling to cope. Many don’t recognise the signs that they’re at risk, and those around them often hesitate to ask relevant questions, in case their attention is seen as unwelcome interference. Many issues can contribute to suicide risk, including unemployment, social isolation, alcohol or drugs misuse, financial problems and relationship breakdown.
An unwillingness to ask for help might stem from any number of causes. But the more people Samaritans can reach with the message that it’s good to talk things through and get help early, rather than waiting until you hit a crisis, the more likely we’ll be able to tackle the suicide statistics.
Suicide is complex and what affects one person may not have the same impact on another, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution, nor a failsafe way to tell if someone is at risk of suicide.
If you are interested in finding out about the ways Samaritans can support your workforce, please visit samaritans.org/for-business
If you feel in need of someone to talk to, Samaritans is free to call on 116 123 or visit the website.
VGC is fundraising for Samaritans this year.
We are also supporting the charity to raise awareness. At the dinner to round off the VGC Golf Day in May, during which we raised £1,235, James (pictured above) spoke about the charity’s vital work.
Earlier in the year James attended a Track Partnership event, where he talked to supervisors and workers about the support the charity could give to those who sought it. We hope to welcome Samaritans representatives to more events in the coming months.
To find out more please see our charity web page.