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Noteworthy News

Suicide Prevention: Helping Someone in Crisis

by Balfour Beatty

August 29, 2023

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, during which Balfour Beatty joins organizations across the U.S. in raising awareness about suicide prevention and mental health resources.

Suicide prevention is a vital component of Balfour Beatty’s commitment to Zero Harm. As an industry leader in a field that consistently experiences high suicide rates, Balfour Beatty aims to inspire our teammates, trade partners and peer organizations to recognize the early warning signs of suicide and act accordingly, and to provide employees with vital mental health resources.

As part of the month’s observance, Balfour Beatty will host two QPR Gatekeeper trainings to better understand how to help someone going through a challenging time. QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer—the steps one can take to be of support to colleagues, friends or loved ones facing mental health crises. Through these trainings, participants will learn to recognize the signs that someone is at risk of suicide, support a person seeking help and offer hope to those in crisis.

One of Balfour Beatty’s priorities is that every person – on a jobsite or in an office – is fit for work. Work-ready fitness is not just a state of physical health and readiness but also of emotional and mental health. When workers are mentally and emotionally healthy, they feel better equipped to approach their work with focus and clarity, reducing accident and injury risk and benefiting every aspect of their teams and projects.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), construction workers have the second highest suicide rate of any vocation in the nation. Contributing factors are believed to include:

  • Periods of unsteady or seasonal employment
  • Mental health stigma
  • Sleep disruption
  • Chronic pain related to manual labor
  • Jobsite travel, which may separate workers from social support circles
  • Frequent physical strain
  • Access to means of committing suicide
  • Pressure to finish projects

Whatever the cause of an individual’s mental health struggle, our mission as a community of construction professionals is to reduce construction worker suicide rates. Beyond Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Balfour Beatty is committed to cultivating ongoing mental health outreach, advocacy and support structures.

For additional information and resources, visit Balfour Beatty’s Suicide Prevention Awareness website