Suicide cannot continue to claim thousands of construction professionals’ lives
Industry death rate is one of the highest in the nation
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. construction industry has one of the highest rates of death by suicide. In 2018, there were 5,242 deaths by suicide among construction workers, which was five times higher than construction worker fatalities on jobsites that same year.
This is a national tragedy, and we must end these devastating deaths among our colleagues. We must shatter the stigma surrounding mental health issues with the goal of creating a zero-suicide construction industry.
Employers can build a resilient workforce by providing access to resources to improve total human health – physical, mental, emotional, social, mental, intellectual, financial, occupational and spiritual wellness.
Through its partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Associated Builders and Contractors provides construction workers and employers with resources including free suicide prevention training, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center, the Crisis Text Line, toolbox talks and speakers who can provide in-person, recorded and online education on suicide awareness, prevention and postvention.
And under a new federal program, help-seekers can simply call 988 to connect to mental health caregivers.
Construction workers work with tools every day, and we must equip these 7.7 million workers with the tools they need to prioritize mental health and protect their emotional well-being. They will use them.
Visit preventconstructionsuicide.com to learn more.
Joshua Reap is CEO and president of Associated Builders & Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont.