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CEI: Mental Health & Suicide Prevention: The Next Dimension in Safety Culture

May 6 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT

Taught via Zoom | Instructor: Michelle Walker

Construction is the most at-risk industry for suicide with more suicides and a higher suicide rate than any other industry, and 4x higher than the national average. In an industry with such a focus on safety, we must take steps to address this issue that is taking an estimated 5x as many lives as all jobsite fatalities combined*.

Just as the safety culture in the industry has changed over the past decades thanks to leadership support, industry pressure, and investment in training – so can the suicide statistics. With vocal leadership support, training, and resources, we can equip and empower our employees to help themselves and their co-workers who may be at risk of suicide. In addition, just as we encourage employees to put their safety knowledge to work at home and adopt a “Safety 24/7” mentality, employees trained to recognize mental health issues and suicide risk can benefit family or friends who may exhibit warning signs, helping to reduce the ripple effect of suicide.

A presentation on Suicide Prevention in Construction will address why construction is so at risk – what are the risk factors causing this – and what are the protective and preventative measures that contractors can take to address them. In addition, warning signs and what to do if an individual appears at-risk will be discussed, as well as identifying the resources available for contractors to integrate suicide prevention into their companies.

Michelle Walker, CCIFP, SPHR is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at SSC Underground, based in Phoenix, AZ. Michelle has worked at SSC since 1998 and held multiple accounting positions within the organization prior to being promoted to VP in 2009. In her current role, she is responsible for the accounting/finance and human resource/employee benefit functions of the company with a primary focus in workforce planning and development. She works closely with the ownership as a member of the executive team on strategic planning, succession, compliance, safety and IT matters. Michelle’s combination of business acumen and passion for people merged together as the founding chairman of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a non-profit organization working to unite the industry to combat the epidemic of suicide in its workforce and provide workplace solutions for the challenge of mental illness, addiction and suicide within the construction industry. She is also a member of the Workplace Suicide Prevention and Postvention Committee and contributor to the Workplace Suicide Prevention Guidelines. She is a highly rated presenter on the subject of mental health and suicide prevention as a workplace and industry health and safety priority at many construction industry, business and human resource conferences. She has also contributed at industry association strategic planning sessions and met with federal administrations on ways that the industry can work together to reduce suicide deaths in its workforce.

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May 6
11:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT