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Bechtel Partnership To Prevent US Construction Worker Suicides


Bechtel and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have announced a new, multiyear partnership dedicated to saving lives in the construction community lost to suicide.


Bechtel’s $7 million dollar commitment to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will provide critical resources and programming to 500,000 US construction workers over the next five years.


Bechtel and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) today announced a new, multiyear partnership dedicated to saving lives in the construction community lost to suicide. The initiative was unveiled this morning in Washington, D.C., at an event focused on raising awareness, educating stakeholders on this crisis, and beginning to build a coalition to prevent construction worker suicides.


The new partnership will reach 500,000 US construction workers over five years through industry-specific programs and resources developed by Bechtel and AFSP. The $7 million, five-year commitment to AFSP to fund the effort is the largest-ever pledge received by AFSP and the largest single donation ever made by the Bechtel Group Foundation.


“This is the start of a long-term, sustained effort to lift up the whole construction community. We want to see mental health become as much of a priority as physical safety in our industry,” said Brendan Bechtel, chairman and CEO of Bechtel.


“It’s our belief that addressing suicide in construction is as vital as wearing a hard hat on site. This is the next frontier in taking care of each other.”

The construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates of any profession in the US. In fact, the number of suicides in the industry is nearly five times higher than the number of lives lost in jobsite safety incidents, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, respectively.


The initiative will leverage Bechtel’s industry knowledge and reach in combination with AFSP’s expertise in research, education, and effective prevention strategies, as well as its national network of local chapters. Bechtel welcomes participation from others in the industry, as this partnership forms a construction working group and a first-ever senior advisory council to help guide the effort.


“We know we cannot meet this challenge alone. Real change will take all of us. We want to build an industry-wide effort, and we are actively encouraging others in construction to join us,” added Brendan Bechtel.


“The partnership with Bechtel is the first of its kind for AFSP, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with an industry leader that is focused on improving the mental health of the construction industry as a whole,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO of AFSP. “We’re excited to be building a team within AFSP dedicated to this important initiative aimed at reaching thousands of people in need and preventing suicide.”


“All of us who work in construction have seen gains in physical safety that were once unimaginable, become the standard for success,” said Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, who also spoke at today’s event.


“It’s time to bring the same mindset, resources, and innovation to the issue of mental health and suicide prevention.”

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