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Bechtel and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Partner to Prevent Construction Worker Suicides

  • 05 March 2024
    Washington D.C.

Bechtel’s $7 million dollar commitment to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will provide critical resources and programming to 500,000 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.”

Learn more about this new initiative and how you can get involved at: Confronting Suicide in the Construction Industry | Bechtel.


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About American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through public education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramYouTube and TikTok. Learn more about AFSP’s ongoing campaign Talk Away Dark to learn the warning signs and risk factors of suicide, and bravely have a REAL open and honest conversation with others.

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About Bechtel

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place.  

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Manufacturing & Technology; Mining & Metals; and Nuclear, Security & Environmental markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.

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