Why “WKUG?”

Note: This article makes reference to suicide. If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

Suicide rates in the United States increased 35.2% from 1999 to 2018, according to a 2019 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Causes of Death report. The number of factors that contribute to suicide are innumerable; however, another CDC report identified several occupations and industries which exhibit higher suicide rates than the general population. The following occupation groups saw the highest rates of suicide based off findings from 32 states:

  • 1) Construction and Extraction (Mining, fracking, oil drilling, etc.)
  • 2) Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
  • 3) Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media
  • 4) Transportation and Material Moving
  • 5) Protective Service (Child and adult)
  • 6) Healthcare Support

What this blog aims to do is put faces to these industries and explore the motivations, mindsets and coping strategies behind them. How does a doctor face their family when their patient died on the table that day? What pressures weigh heaviest on a construction worker on the road? What keeps them going?

The American Psychiatric Association in March reported that “essential workers,” like emergency service personnel and food service workers, have faced unique and new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. 54% of respondents said they relied on unhealthy habits to navigate the pandemic. 29% said their mental health has worsened. 75% said they could have used more than they received since the pandemic started.

This point of this blog is not to highlight the negative; however, the negatives are necessary to highlight the positives. The human experience is one of great misery and greater joy. One can not know happiness without first having felt sadness.

Through the pain, the hardship, the unfair improbabilities…

What keeps us going?

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