The construction and extraction industry has the second highest rate of suicide among all occupational groups, with architecture and engineering having the fifth-highest rate. This finding comes from a report released earlier this summer by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ARCHITECT magazine, BUILDER's sister publication, asks whether are our industries doing enough to help our employees?
The mental health experts interviewed for this article say that stories—of loss, of survival, of recovery, of moving forward—are central to breaking the silence and changing toxic school and workplace cultures. In 2015, Quinnett partnered with the American Association of Suicidology, in Washington, D.C., to present the “Lived Experience Writing Contest” for individuals to share their stories of resilience and recovery related to suicide. Spencer-Thomas points to the recovery testimonial videos on the Man Therapy website, and to the videos discussing the prevention efforts of police and fire departments at their own workplaces hosted on her foundation's YouTube page.
Despite increasing public awareness, change can be slow. The University of Toronto's GALDSU program repeated its mental health survey for the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 academic years. The authors wrote in the introduction to their latest report that the surveys, "considered across multiple years, will provide us with an important tool by which we can measure the effects of changes made by GALDSU and faculty on the student experience." They note that, so far, the school has responded to survey responses and additional feedback by creating more spaces for students to "eat, relax, study, and rest," and that it also helped the Canadian Architecture Students Association conduct its own well-being survey of architecture schools in Canada.