Statistics released from the CDC on July 1, 2016 show that workers in construction and extraction have a 53.3 per 100,000 rate of suicide, which is second only to workers in the farming, fishing, and forest occupational group (84.5 per 100,000). With 17 states taking part in the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), this data heightens the need to address suicide prevention and mental health promotion in the construction industry.
Recently, the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) formed the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention to gather and disseminate key information and resources, share education and programming for CFMA’s 94 chapters across North America, and promote initiatives to support suicide prevention.
Stuart Binstock, CFMA President & CEO, said, “At CFMA’s 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition, we brought the topic of suicide prevention to an audience of our nearly 1,300 attendees by offering two general education sessions and presentations to chapter leaders, providing flash drives, and introducing our new online resource at www.cfma.org/suicideprevention. Efforts are also underway to encourage our industry partners to join the Alliance with the ultimate goal of preventing death by suicide in the construction industry.”
“As a construction company controller, I understand the importance of protecting and supporting our most valuable asset—our human capital,” adds CFMA Chairman Ken Chiccotella. “In conjunction with our conference theme of Building It Forward, ensuring not only the physical well-being, but also the mental health of our workforce must be core to our business strategies and goals.”
The newly released “Construction + Suicide Prevention” publications by Cal Beyer, Director of Risk Management at Lakeside Industries and executive committee member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, mental health advocate, and survivor of her brother’s suicide, address why suicide prevention in an imperative in the construction industry and provide 10 action steps companies can take to save lives.
“Construction industry leaders are stepping forward and changing culture with a new vision around suicide prevention. CFMA has shown bold leadership in spearheading this shift in culture as a conduit in making suicide prevention a health and safety priority,” said Spencer-Thomas. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention cites these CFMA resources and website in support of the cause.