Several Chicago-area construction groups are participating in a suicide prevention summit on Feb. 1.
Spearheaded by the Construction Financial Managers Association (CFMA), the CFMI Chicago Chapter is working with the Builders Association (BA), the NECA/IBEW, the Laborers Union, Construction Safety Council, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and other organizations to co-ordinate the event.
CFMA says it has established the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention with the goal of providing and disseminating information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction. “Through the information and resources CFMA has compiled, the alliance looks to help those in the construction industry create awareness of the problem, cultivate a culture of caring, and start the conversation in the workplace,” CFMA says in a statement.
The half-day Suicide Prevention Summit, a collaboration between construction and mental health professionals, will explore suicide prevention for the construction industry. By targeting construction industry CEOs, CFOs, human resource professionals, and safety and risk managers, this event will provide a wealth of knowledge to professionals in the industry, CFMA says.
“In this male-dominated industry, the stoic, macho ‘tough guy’ culture creates barriers to seeking help and acknowledging emotional problems,” said Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO and co-founder of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, and survivor of her brother’s suicide,
Summit attendees will connect with community mental health professionals, find out what their industry peers are doing on this issue, and amass resources to help promote mental health and suicide prevention as part of their companies’ overall health initiatives.
Along with Spencer-Thomas, Bob Swanson and David Sauerman will share their experiences and how suicide has affected their lives.
The event at Maggiano’s Little Italy, 240 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, is free because of the construction association and Blue Cross/Blue Shield support. The summit from 2 to 5 p.m. will be followed by a networking reception with food and drink.