WASHINGTON — Associated Builders and Contractors and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Wednesday announced a collaborative partnership to address mental health and suicide prevention throughout the U.S. construction industry.
The goals of the partnership are to improve the mental health of construction workers through effective suicide prevention education, intervention and postvention strategies; to encourage, equip and empower mental health champions in the workforce; and to introduce collaboration between ABC and AFSP chapters nationwide.
“Safety includes total human health — emotional, social, mental, intellectual, ﬁnancial, occupational and spiritual wellness — and we must continue to raise the bar for safety for the construction workforce of more than 7.5 million,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “Our people are our greatest asset, and this partnership will take our total human health and safety practices to the next level. Going forward, this is the greatest opportunity to leverage and advance world-class safety for our people, both physically and mentally.”
“Studies show that 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental health condition this year, and 50% will experience one in their lifetime. This has an impact on workplaces, too, and that is why a partnership with ABC is so important,” said Bob Gebbia, CEO of AFSP. “We commend ABC leadership for the commitment they are giving to the construction workforce and are pleased to help support their efforts with educational programs.”
Specifically, the partnership between ABC and AFSP will:
- Develop and disseminate education resources on mental health and suicide prevention in workplaces and leverage opportunities to engage workers.
- Support suicide prevention and postvention education in the construction workplace at all levels of the organizations’ chapters and members.
- Participate in key events where worker safety and health, as well as safety and health practitioners’ and other professionals’ development are addressed.
- Promote and facilitate the transfer of relevant mental health and suicide prevention and postvention research and findings to practitioners and to the construction workforce.
- Share opportunities with ABC and AFSP chapters on supportive programs and events.