Dec 13, 2019

Construction industry grapples with high suicide risk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A construction company in Salt Lake City has become a model for helping workers who are struggling with suicidal ideation or self-harm, NPR reports.

Why it matters: The construction industry has the highest suicide rates of any occupation, and its demographics mirror those who are the most susceptible to die by suicide — young and middle-aged men, and also veterans.

  • The company, RK, "highlights mental health two to three times a week during what it calls toolbox talks, when workers gather for staff announcements and to stretch," NPR writes.
  • The national suicide rate has been increasing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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ERs often drop the ball after treating suicidal patients

Emergency rooms don't do a very good job coordinating longer-term care for patients who have attempted suicide — increasing the risk that those patients will try again.

By the numbers: In California, the suicide rate for patients who had been admitted to the ER in the past year for suicidal ideation was a full 57% higher, according to a new study.

Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019

Raising the minimum wage can prevent suicide

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Raising the minimum wage by just $1 in each state could have prevented more than 27,000 suicides between 1990 and 2015, according to a new report in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reported on by NPR.

Between the lines: Increasing the minimum wage would be especially helpful when unemployment is high, the authors found.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Medicare for All's missing mental health discussion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.

Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020