AZ Summit to Compel Mental Health/Suicide Prevention to Be Aligned with Construction Safety 24/7

PHOENIX, March 15, 2016 -- With the construction industry ranked as one of the top nine industries at risk for suicide, members of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Valley of the Sun Chapter have organized the “Suicide Prevention Summit”. This half day collaboration between construction and mental health professionals, will explore suicide prevention for the construction industry. The Summit is scheduled for April 7, 2016, at 2901 N. 7th Street in Phoenix, Arizona. 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.

Shatter the Stigma
According to 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, “In this male-dominated industry, the stoic, macho ‘tough guy’ culture creates barriers to seeking help and acknowledging emotional problems.”

Cal Beyer, Director of Risk Management at Lakeside Industries and Executive Committee member for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, further explains, “This summit is a major step forward for the construction industry. We are succeeding in breaking down the stigma of mental health and helping construction companies build a caring culture to integrate mental health into safety, health, and wellness programs.” Beyer and Spencer-Thomas are leading an initiative for the construction industry on mental health and suicide prevention.

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 Beyer and Spencer-Thomas, Phoenix-based mental health professional David Covington of Recovery International and Sandra McNally of La Frontera Arizona’s EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center are also featured speakers.

Al Berardi, Vice President Human Resources, McCarthy Holdings, Inc. adds, “An important part of creating a great work environment is ensuring that we have a culture where employees feel comfortable asking for help and using the resources available to them. There aren’t many things more traumatic at work than learning that a co-worker has taken his or her life. While devastating for any work group to deal with, construction project teams are often completely dependent on one other, working remotely depending on the location of the job site and developing close friendships. It can feel like losing a family member.”

Media coverage of this event is encouraged by registering at and following the conversation at #SuicidePreventionCFMA. This event is free to participants, thanks to the generous support by both the construction and behavioral health communities. Sponsors may be viewed on the CFMA Valley of the Sun website.

“We are very proud of our Valley of the Sun Chapter and Cal Beyer for taking the lead in bringing to light this very serious and important topic that the construction industry needs to address. We hope to replicate this kind of program across the country over the course of the year,” notes CFMA President & CEO, Stuart Binstock.

Media Contact:
Michelle Walker, CCIFP, SPHR
Vice President Finance & Administration, Specialized Services Co. (SSC)

About Valley of the Sun
The Valley of the Sun Chapter of Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) is a broad-based organization of professionals committed to serving the construction industry. The chapter provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and a source of educational programs. Chapter members strive to invest in their community through involvement in industry related issues and charitable endeavors.

About CFMA
CFMA, headquartered in Princeton, NJ, is an individual membership organization and the only association dedicated to bringing together construction financial professionals and those partners serving their unique needs. CFMA serves more than 7,500 members in 92 chapters.