AGC launches aid for suicide issues

The Associated General Contractors of America produces a series of videos, launches a quarterly forum and provides resources to combat high suicide rates and improve the mental health of workers in the construction industry. The new effort is designed to address the high rate of suicide among construction workers.

“We cannot sit idly by while a silent epidemic of suicides unfolds in our industry,” Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We want to reduce the stigma of mental health issues in this industry, let people know it’s okay to seek help, and ultimately save lives.”

Sandherr said the annual rate of suicide among construction workers was 53.2 per 100,000, compared to a national workplace death rate of 10.2 per 100,000 workers, noting that a worker from construction is five times more likely to die by suicide than occupational safety hazards.

What’s in the AGC’s suicide prevention effort?

  • A series of video public service announcements (PIAs) features construction workers who nearly succumbed to their mental health issues. The workers in these videos will inspire people in the construction industry not to be afraid to ask for help. Videos will begin to be available in the fall.
  • A quarterly forum will share examples of successful mental health and suicide prevention efforts.
  • A comprehensive collection of resources for construction companies and their workers on mental health and suicide prevention. These resources will be available online, free of charge, to all construction companies.

The new effort is being coordinated by the association’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Task Force, which is made up of construction professionals from across the country.

“The bottom line is that safety isn’t just about wearing the right protective gear,” Sandherr said. “It’s about understanding that you’re not alone and it’s okay to ask for help.”

Source: Associated General Contractors

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