Princeton, N.J. — With more than 15 organizations pledging support, the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (the Alliance) initiated plans for broad-based communications during its inaugural teleconference and November call-to-action. In identifying opportunities to spread the word on this critical topic, Alliance members can shine the light on creating a zero suicide industry.
The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) established the Alliance with the goal of providing and disseminating information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction.
Alliance member organizations have now been equipped to assist with the distribution of information to their membership through quarterly e-mail communications, newsletters, videos, blogs, education summits, website promotion, webinars and other means at their disposal.
Alliance member organizations include: Arizona Rock Products Association (ARPA), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), BKD, The Carson J Spencer Foundation, Construction Industry CPAs and Consultants (CICPAC), International Risk Management Institute (IRMI), Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Perspectives, Ltd, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, and Screening for Mental Health.
CFMA has compiled various resources (found at www.cfma.org/suicideprevention) to help Alliance members in the construction industry: published articles, “blueprints” for companies, posters in English and Spanish for display in the workplace, and information and tips on how to plan an education session or suicide prevention summit. Additionally, CFMA encourages promotion of the Alliance by member organizations as it contributes to the efforts of shaping the construction industry by ensuring the safety and well-being of companies’ most important assets — human capital.
Too often, the construction industry’s “culture of safety” is limited to the physical aspects and neglects the psychological aspects. According to a recent article in The New York Times, between 1999-2014, there was a 22 percent increase in mortality among white, middle-aged men with less than a college education; suicides, opioid overdoses, and alcohol abuse were listed as the causes of this increased mortality. The subpopulation most likely to die by suicide — white, working-age men — dominates the U.S. construction workforce.
CFMA President & CEO Stuart Binstock noted, “It is an industry imperative to provide resources to assist construction companies so that they may address this issue which has long been ignored. There is a need for more proactive, prevention-based strategies, solutions, and services to help the construction industry address mental health and suicide prevention.”