The construction industry has the highest number of suicides and the highest suicide rate of any industry. As such, it is an industry imperative for contractors, unions, project owners, and industry service providers to address suicide prevention in construction as a safety priority.
The mental well-being of a company’s workforce is equally as important as their physical well-being. If anyone is struggling with mental health issues, they may ignore all efforts of protection and could be a danger to themselves and others.
This is why CFMA has been deeply involved in suicide prevention since the first article on the topic, written by Cal Beyer and Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, was published in CFMA Building Profits in 2015. Since the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) started as a CFMA task force in 2016, it has garnered support from contractors, unions, associations, and mental health organizations across the country.
April 2016 saw CFMA’s Valley of the Sun Chapter hosting the first regional summit on the topic, spurring on other CFMA Chapters to undertake similar initiatives. In 2018, the CIASP became a separate 501(c)(3) organization with its own governing body. And, in July 2019, the CIASP hired an association management company to handle its day-to-day operations – a major step in transitioning to an independent organization.