NASBP was the first organization to join a new Alliance to promote awareness of mental health and suicide prevention in the construction industry. NASBP has joined the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP), that was recently formed by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), because NASBP wants to help address the issue of construction being one of the top three industries at risk for suicide.
“The larger conversation around suicide prevention in the construction industry has taken a tremendous leap forward with the formation of CFMA's Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention,” said NASBP CEO Mark McCallum. “On behalf of our membership of surety bond producers and allied professionals, I'm proud of NASBP's decision to commit to this cause, as demonstrated by joining the Alliance and supporting and participating in efforts to raise awareness of this critical issue."
NASBP is encouraging surety professionals to be aware that the known contributing factors for suicide and the many aspects of working in construction create a “perfect storm” of risk. These 12 aspects of the construction industry make it vulnerable to suicides.
- “Tough guy” culture of fearlessness, stoicism, and recklessness
- High pressure environment of schedule, budget, and quality performance with potential for failure and resulting shame/humiliation
- Exposure to physical strain or psychological trauma
- Prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse
- Reassignment and travel to remote projects creating separation from family and friends
- Seasonal employment leading to a fragmented community and isolation
- Chronic pain from years of hard, physical, and manual labor
- Industry with the associated highest incidence of prescription opioid use
- Sleep disruption due to construction work schedules and rotating shifts
- Lack of access to mental health care and low utilization of employee assistance programs (EAPS)
- Stigma of mental illness
- Access to lethal means like pills and firearms.
Source: “Construction + Suicide Prevention: Why Is This an Industry Imperative?" by Sally Spencer-Thomas & Cal Beyer
NASBP is also encouraging surety professionals to share information with clients, including articles, websites, and press release materials, which are available at CFMA’s webpage. The titles below are just a sampling of the many resources available from the Alliance:
- CFMA Building Profits Nov/Dec 2015: Mental Illness & Suicide—Break the Silence & Create a Caring Culture
- Construction + Suicide Prevention: Why Is This an Industry Imperative?
- Construction + Suicide Prevention: 10 Action Steps Companies Can Take to Save Lives
- Economic Impact of Suicide Prevention Strategy
- Industrial Safety + Hygiene News (ISHN)
- A Call for Help
- A Construction Industry Blueprint: Suicide Prevention in the Workplace (reprinted with permission)
- Suicide Prevention Finds a Home at RK
- A Manager’s Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace (reprinted with permission)
Join NASBP, CFMA and other stakeholders in this construction industry-wide movement to help everyone better understand how to prevent suicide among the construction industry’s workforce and to improve the mental health of its employees.