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Study of construction workers identifies common drivers of suicidal thoughts

Photo: Kali9/iStockphoto

Adelaide, Australia — Stress, long hours and job insecurity are some of the top challenges contributing to mental health issues among construction workers in Australia, results of a recent study show.

After interviewing 15 construction workers with different jobs in the industry, researchers identified other themes also related to “suicidal ideation and distress”:

  • Family and relationship problems
  • Social disconnection
  • Financial hardships
  • Perceived lack of support
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Child custody/access and legal issues
  • Mental health challenges, trauma or a significant adverse life event

In a press release, study co-author Simon Tyler, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Australia, said the workers who identified job-related stressors “saw them as increasing in intensity in recent times and said they played a significant part in experiences of suicidal thoughts and distress.”

The researchers call for better support from colleagues and managers, social support and “engagement with nonwork activities,” and increased knowledge of mental health and suicide.

The study was published online in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

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