Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a recurring tragedy in the overall American construction industry. Death by their own hand occurs at a rate approximately 4.3 times higher than the overall U.S. average. Unfortunately, the construction industry is ranked as the nation’s second-highest industry that encounters these personal tragedies.

"One death by suicide is one too many,” said Doug Carlson, NUCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Everyone has an expectation and a right to work in a safe and healthy environment where open, honest, and meaningful conversations around this difficult topic of suicide and mental health are encouraged.”

"We have a tough-guy culture in the construction industry. Employees still do not feel comfortable talking to their coworkers or managers about issues troubling them, or about general mental health issues. That must change. We must recognize the issues pushing our industry's employees to mistakenly choose such a tragic end, and let them know there are better choices to be found that address their troubles than taking their life and devastating their families," Carlson concluded.

Pledging to deliver a welcoming environment to its member’s employees, executives of the U.S. utility construction industry and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) joined other associations and organizations on February 7, 2023, at the Florida Transportation Builders Association (FTBA) Construction Conference in Orlando, Florida, in signing a joint proclamation (see sidebar) to reduce construction industry suicides.

There are many resources avaliable to construction industry employees who are battling mental health anguish. Sometimes those resources are found as close-by as a coworker. Others find that they want a professional counselor to discuss their dilemma. NUCA hopes those who have found their way to this webpage take full advantage of these many public and private resources offered and find the better path through life they deserve.

Start here: 
Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention 
 

April 2023 - TEDx: Vince Hafeli at the Univ. of Mississippi discussing mental health and suicide in the construction industry. 
 

NUCA:

May 2023 - NUCA's Podcast with Vince Hafeli on Suicide Prevention
Feb. 7, 2023 - NUCA PLEDGES OPEN INDUSTRY DISCUSSIONS TO PREVENT SUICIDE
Sign The Awareness Proclamation

Vince Hafeli, MBA and president of Ajax Paving of Florida, has taken the lead to initiate a national campaign promoting awareness of suicide and mental health wellness in the construction industry community. Hafeli presented his Suicide in Construction Awareness Proclamation at the Florida Transportation Builders Association Construction Conference on Feb. 7, 2023, and collected signatures, including those of NUCA CEO Doug Carlson and Florida NUCA chapter executive directors.

Hafeli will take the physical, living document to events where he is speaking across the United States until December 2024, collecting signatures from those who agree we need to encourage open conversations relating to suicide and mental health awareness in our industry. You can read the Suicide in Construction Awareness Proclamation and sign your own name to show your support for your fellow workers.

Sign The Proclamation
 

NUCA Recommends Vince Hafeli's Book!

Dr. Vince Hafeli, "Mental Health and Suicide: My Personal Story and The Stories of Those Left Behind, With a Deep Dive Into the Construction Industry", 2023.