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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) have signed a two-year alliance agreement to promote awareness of workplace mental health and suicide prevention.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and Sept. 5 to 9 is Construction Suicide Prevention Week. To reflect diversity in the workforce and encourage workers’ sense of belonging, the alliance will aim to develop information and products on workplace mental health and suicide prevention awareness in multiple languages.

"Suicide is a leading cause of death among working-age adults in the United States. It deeply impacts workers, families, and communities," says Doug Parker, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "OSHA is proud to join with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to eliminate barriers to getting help and promote the mental well-being of all workers."

Best practices and effective approaches for promoting workplace suicide prevention awareness, like AFSP’s “Talk Saves Lives” programming, will be shared through the agreement. The alliance will also explore opportunities for AFSP to contribute to OSHA’s new Traumatic Stress directive, and update and expand OSHA’s Preventing Suicides webpage.

Currently, OSHA’s Preventing Suicides webpage directs anyone who may need help to the new three-digit dialing code “988” or to online chatting at Visitors can also find the agency’s Suicide Prevention: 5 Things You Should Know poster that AFSP previously assisted with. It encourages everyone to be aware, pay attention, reach out, take action, and learn more to help prevent suicide.

The Northeastern Division of AFSP and OSHA have an existing alliance in the agency’s New England region that provides trade organizations, health care professionals, businesses, and others with training resources and information on well-being and mental health issues related to occupational deaths by suicide. AFSP is a voluntary health organization giving those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered with research, education, and advocacy.

Construction Suicide Prevention Week was formed in 2020 by a group of volunteers across the construction industry. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about the higher-than-average number of suicides in the construction industry, and to providing resources to help prevent those deaths.

Resources include Toolbox Talks and helpful links for information. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide occurs in 27 out of every 100,000 people, and in construction, the number is 53.3 suicides per 100,000 workers.

The awareness week hopes to rid the stigma around asking for help.