Highlighting AGC Colorado’s “Culture of CARE”

AGC Colorado CEO/President, Jeff Barratt.by Jeff Barratt, CEO/President - AGC Colorado

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As an AGC member, there are many exciting ways to get involved in AGC Colorado via our 14 committees and councils.  An exciting initiative, with multiple opportunities, exists in AGC’s “Culture of CARE” working groups.  Now, more than ever, it is important that construction sites and offices across the country be welcoming and inclusive places to work, and to address these important issues, AGC Colorado has established three working groups: 1) mental health, and wellbeing, 2) supplier diversity, and 3) our diversity, equity, and inclusion working group.

In this article, I want to focus on the first working group, mental health, and wellbeing.  This group comes together to identify, vet resources for the industry, helps lead and curate our annual cornhole fundraiser, collaborates to create new initiatives, and identifies training opportunities to support our members on the topics of mental health, and wellbeing, and suicide prevention.

We have exciting partnerships with YouTurn, that has programs and supports for employees and their families struggling with mental health, substance misuse, and suicide ideation, and VitalCog, a program that deals with suicide prevention in the workplace.  YouTurn is developing a Spanish landing page on their website and working on translating video content and exploring having these trainings conducted in Spanish.  We have active participation, and this working group is exceptionally creative and generating some great ideas.

I am always astounded by the data related to mental health, and data shows Colorado’s highest incidence of suicide, by industry, is construction.  Here are a few other data points related to this area (Source: Pulse Survey):

  • 4% of suicide deaths were a current diagnosed mental health problem, with depression being the most common issue
  • Construction workers are 5 times more likely to die by suicide than a work-related injury
  • Construction ranks 2nd highest in suicide Rates among major industries nationwide; however, construction has topped the list of suicide deaths by industry in Colorado 11 of the past 15 years

AGC America has also implemented many of these initiatives with the goal of “creating better workplaces” for the construction industry, and mental health and wellbeing is foremost in the minds of industry leaders.  I recently attended the Western Chapters Conference, and this topic was one of the more robust roundtable discussions, and everyone has prioritized this for their respective Chapters.  For those of you who are rodeo fans, the Wyoming Chapter has implemented a “Pick Up Man” program, a creative example tackling this issue.  The pick up man in a rodeo is one who rides out to pick up the fallen rider and bring him or her to safety.  Individuals who have volunteered within their respective companies to be a “Pick Up Man” wear yellow stickers on their hard hats, and they provide mental health resources to those who need them, and it highlights the power of peer-to-peer interaction eliminating potential stigma and exhibits a level of privacy.

AGC Colorado’s work with these three working groups is one of our four pillars in our 2024-26 strategic plan, along with Advocacy, Membership, and Professional Development and Training, and I couldn’t be prouder of the initiatives being prioritized for action in mental health, and I’m also grateful for the AGC staff serving as liaisons to this committee, and all our committees supporting our AGC members!!

For more information on AGC’s “Culture of CARE” initiative visit our website, www.agccolorado.org .