Deakin University
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Are young men getting the message? Age differences in suicide prevention literacy among male construction workers

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-02-01, 00:00 authored by Tania L King, Philip J Batterham, Helen Lingard, Jorgen Gullestrup, Chris Lockwood, Samuel B Harvey, Brian Kelly, Tony LaMontagneTony LaMontagne, Allison Milner
Suicide is a leading cause of death among young men. Help-seeking is known to be poor among this group, and little is known about what interventions are most successful in improving suicide prevention literacy among young men. This research aims to examine: (1) age differences in beliefs related to suicide prevention literacy and attitudes to the workplace in addressing mental health among male construction workers; (2) age differences in response to a workplace suicide prevention program. Pre- and post-training survey data of 19,917 male respondents were obtained from a workplace training program database. Linear regression models and predictive margins were computed. Mean differences in baseline beliefs, and belief change were obtained for age groups, and by occupation. Young men demonstrated poorer baseline suicide prevention literacy but were more likely to consider that mental health is a workplace health and safety issue. There was also evidence that young men employed in manual occupations had poorer suicide prevention literacy than older men, and young men employed in professional/managerial roles. The youngest respondents demonstrated the greatest intervention-associated change (higher scores indicating more favourable belief change) to People considering suicide often send out warning signs (predicted mean belief change 0.47, 95% CI 0.43, 0.50 for those aged 15⁻24 years compared to 0.38, 95% CI 0.36, 0.41 for men aged 45 years and over), and to The construction industry must do something to reduce suicide rates (predicted mean belief change 0.17, 95% CI 0.15, 0.20 for those aged 15⁻24 years compared to 0.12, 95% CI 0.10, 0.14 among men aged 45 years and over). Results indicate that while suicide prevention literacy may be lower among young men, this group show amenability to changing beliefs. There were some indications that young men have a greater propensity to regard the workplace as having a role in reducing suicide rates and addressing mental health, highlighting opportunity for workplace interventions.



International journal of environmental research and public health






Special Issue: The Relationship between Work, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: Recent Advances and Perspectives


1 - 12




Basel, Switzerland





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, The Authors