NGC wants to help combat this alarming statistic: Construction has one of the highest suicide rates of all major industry groups. AGC of America released a nationwide Public Service Campaign to respond to the rising rate of suicide and mental health issues among the construction workforce. The newly formed AGC MHSP task force hopes their PSAs, sharing of stories, and encouragement can help others: You’re not alone, you don’t have to “tough it out” on your own, and it’s OK to seek help. See below for the collected data, and more links…
In late 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) MMWR found that 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use and that 11% of U.S. adults seriously considered suicide.
In the U.S., you are more likely to die from suicide than an automobile accident or by homicide. We lose 47,500 people per year to suicide, 38,800 to automobile accidents, and 19,141 to homicide. This means you are 2.5 times more likely to die by your own hand than the hands of others.
More specifically, the construction industry has the highest rate of suicide at 53.2 per 100,000 U.S. workers. That rate is four times greater than the national average and five times greater than that of all other construction fatalities combined.
“We cannot stand by while a silent epidemic of suicide takes place within our industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC of America’s chief executive officer. “We want to reduce the stigma of mental health issues in this industry, let people know it is okay to ask for help and, ultimately, save lives.”
On December 6, 2022, AGC of America released a series of videos telling the stories of real industry professionals who have struggled with mental health. The hope is that in sharing their stories, others will know they are not alone, and it is okay to seek help when it is needed. These videos are part of the association’s ongoing efforts to combat high suicide rates and improve mental health among the industry’s workers.
AGC of America established a Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Task Force comprised of professionals from across the country. The task force will host quarterly forums to discuss best practices, engage with industry partners and legislators, and conduct needs analyses to develop a comprehensive collection of resources for construction companies and their workers. If you are interested in becoming a task force member, please contact Mandi Kime or Brandon Anderson.
For more AGC MHSP guides and resource links click here, and click on AGC’s 12-pack of Toolbox Talks to download a dozen Construction Health and Personal Mental Coping Skills PDFs.