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The tough-guy image of a construction worker took on new meaning this fall with the launch of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
Created by the Construction Financial Management Association, the Alliance is designed to bring awareness to an issue that, for many, still remains taboo. “There’s a terrible stigma around this topic that no one wants to talk about,” says Stuart Binstock, CFMA’s president. “The response shows that we’ve hit upon a chord we didn’t know existed.”
A June report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that construction workers have a suicide rate of 53.3 per 100,000, the second-highest of any profession. Feelings of depression often can lead people to withdraw from others—sometimes with deadly results. The goal of the Alliance is to change that dynamic, Binstock says.
CFMA provides Alliance members with webinars, newsletters, published articles, and PR materials designed to help them reach the goal spelled out in the program’s tagline: Building a Zero Suicide Industry.
The Alliance has added more than a half dozen trade groups since it formed in September, including the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, and the National Association of Women in Construction.