Mental Health Initiative


For Mental Health Awareness Month the Safety & Health Council has initiated a call to action for all AGC of California members to provide individual stand downs on their respective job sites on mental health throughout the month of May.

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Mental Health Awareness Month Initiative: Stand Downs

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh acknowledges the efforts of AGC of California members to support mental health in the construction industry.

Mike Pugh, Chair of the Mental Health Subcommittee at AGC of California, shares his mental health story in hopes of opening up the conversation about the critical importance of prioritizing mental health within the construction industry

The importance of mental health awareness has increased as the Nation and State saw unprecedented times during the current Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Pandemic. In the wake of important conversations surrounding mental health, suicide prevention, and substance use disorders we recognize the role AGC of California, and member companies can play in elevating the overall message. In September, AGC of California launched a groundbreaking new Mental Health Initiative during suicide prevention month.  The goal was to build awareness through training and education, guide the industry with key resources, and lift up, support, and buoy the industry.

Building a more resilient California requires the voices of all Californians at the table. To achieve this, AGC of California’s Safety & Health Council believes the overall well-being of Californians is paramount. In order to elevate the conversation during Mental Health Awareness Month, the Council voted to approve a Mental Health Awareness Month initiative that begins on May 8, 2023, by initiating a call to action for all AGC of California members to provide individual stand-downs on their respective job-sites throughout the month of May for Mental Health Awareness Month

The stand-downs are an opportunity for employers to have conversations with you about mental health, which encompasses suicide prevention, and substance use disorders such as alcoholism, and opioids. It gives each employer the opportunity to discuss the company/union’s safety policies, goals, and value each company has for every employee and worker.

Please utilize the QR code or click here to submit your mental health stand down data to AGC of California. This data will be collated to create a comprehensive slide show highlighting the companies that conducted a mental health stand down.

This initiative serves a twofold purpose; firstly, it will serve as a promotion for mental health and the participating companies. Secondly, it will aid in quantifying the number of employees that have taken part in a mental health stand down across the industry.


Mental Health By The Numbers

Suicide Statistics (California)

  • California has an age-adjusted suicide rate of 10.7 (per 100,000), which is lower than the national age-adjusted average rate of 13.42 (per 100,000). This is based on a 2019 report by the National Center for Health Statistics. Source.
  • On April 16, 2021, the California Assembly passed a resolution declaring March 18, 2021, and yearly thereafter, “Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Awareness Day”. This demonstrates the importance of increased awareness. Source.

Substance Use Disorder Statistics (California)

  • Construction ranked as the number two industry for heavy alcohol use among adults ages 10 to 64 at 16.5%, according to data from 2008-2012 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Source.
  • 12.46% – 16.32% of Californians aged 12+ used illicit drugs from 2018 to 2019, according to reports by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Source.

Mental Health Resources

Local Employee Assistance Program Poster

This poster outlines contact information for local employee assistance programs per trade and region. Print and post in a public location at your job sites for your employees to utilize in the event assistance is needed.

Fighting Substance Use Disorders in the Construction Industry

Article featured in California Constructor Magazine about why tradespeople fall victim to substance use disorders, and how human resources professionals can provide support.

Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention

AGC has joined the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) as a stakeholder to stand up for suicide prevention. CIASP is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising awareness and offering resources and tools to support the construction community. Construction workers are at a heightened risk for suicide for a variety of reasons, which can all be addressed by changing the workplace culture. As an AGC member, you have access to valuable CIASP resources, which can help you disseminate messaging about mental health wellness and suicide prevention, arm your workforce with the knowledge to recognize warning signs, cultivate internal champions, create supportive networks, and clear up misconceptions.

Getting Started: