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Construction companies working to address high suicide rate

LivingWorks

Oct 4, 2021

LivingWorks Education, a global leader in suicide intervention skills training, released initial training participant feedback results today of an online training undertaken by staff at Jordan Foster, including their Field Safety Team.

LivingWorks Education President, Rick Trimp, said of the results, “Often when we think about suicide, the professions with the highest rates of PTSD, such as military and police, come to mind. But what most don't know is that construction suicides are higher. In fact, the construction community suffers the highest suicide incidence compared to any other sector. And that's why this collaboration between LivingWorks, MindForge, Jordan Foster, and the CIASP <Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention> is so important. Together we can promote mental health and well-being and create construction workplaces free from the risk of suicide.

MindForge and Jordan Foster witness these devasting statistics far too often and wanted to take positive action to support their construction peers. These visionary organizations came to LivingWorks Education wanting help to educate industry leaders, employees, and subcontractors on life saving suicide intervention skills.

“We introduced them to LivingWorks Start, an easy, online, suicide prevention skill-building program where people can learn what clues to listen for and how to connect the individual thinking of suicide with someone who can provide the help they need," said Trimp.

Stokes McIntyre, CEO of MindForge said of the training, “Although a culture of toughness is woven into the fabric of the construction industry, we all know colleagues, friends, and family members who struggle with mental health and sometimes thoughts of suicide. Many of our construction community have never had any training in suicide intervention yet too many have been affected by suicide and struggle themselves. This training with LivingWorks has not only given us hope, but also practical skills we can put into play where we live, work, and play.”

Tricia Kagerer, EVP of Risk Management at Jordan Foster said of the partnership, “We are staggered by the suicide statistics, particularly when it comes to our skilled trades men and women who are fundamental to our business, and an inspiration for the future in our communities. Now, more than ever, we cannot be complacent when it comes to protecting those around us from the risk of suicide.”

Tricia went on to comment: “As Stokes mentioned, most front-line construction workers have a pretty ‘tough guy’ mentality and it has really been amazing to see the community opening up, talking about the “S” word and begin to move beyond traditional stigmas. This is just the beginning of building a network of safety around the Jordan Foster and wider construction community.”

Participant feedback from the initial pilot implementation of LivingWorks Start, which include pre- and post- training survey results:

In 2021, LivingWorks Start training (90 minute online interactive skills-based introduction to suicide first aid) was offered to Jordan Foster’s Field Safety Team through the MindForge platform.

  • Approximately 77 percent of participants had no previous training in suicide prevention.
  • Fifteen percent of participants already have someone in mind that they could use their skills new with
  • Almost all (92%) participants agreed that after completing LivingWorks Start, if they were struggling with thoughts of suicide, they would now know how to get help
  • The majority (92%) of participants want to play a suicide prevention role that extends beyond awareness – that is, identifying someone having thoughts of suicide and connecting them to help and support, being alert to someone at risk of suicide and helping keep them safe, and helping someone with thoughts of suicide create a safety plan.
  • More than 90 percent of participants found the LivingWorks Start program valuable.

Comments from some of the learners who took part included:

  • “I appreciate the opportunity of this training and encourage everybody that had a participation on this initiative to continue caring for people in need.”

In answer to the learner being asked what they found challenging in the program, they responded, “At first <regarding> how or what to say to them but now it was easier.”

  • “Basically, just understanding how to approach and communicate with an individual thinking about suicide,” this learner responded regarding what they found most beneficial from the training.
  • “All was great training. Bringing up the word Suicide is uncomfortable sometimes.”

More about LivingWorks Start

LivingWorks Start is the first step in the continuum of safety skills offered by LivingWorks Education. It is a 90-minute online program that anyone can take to be trained to recognize the signs of suicide and take life-saving action by connecting those at risk to hope and safety.

To learn more about Start, watch this video or visit livingworks.net/start.

More about LivingWorks Education

LivingWorks Education is the world’s leading provider of suicide prevention solutions. There is more than 35 years of history and expertise and they have trained 2.3 million people worldwide.

LivingWorks Education programs have been evaluated in more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and LivingWorks ASIST and LivingWorks safeTALK training programs are recognised best practices, used by crisis hotlines throughout the world. The LivingWorks vision is a world free from suicide loss.

LivingWorks Education strives to accomplish this by providing high-quality training programs that empower everyone to be part of the solution.


To date LivingWorks Education has:

  • Empowered over 2,000,000 people to save lives from suicide
  • Over 50 peer-reviewed studies support our programs' effectiveness with that research and evaluation being updated to include new digital interventions
  • 8,000 trainers worldwide
  • Run training courses from the U.S.A., the U.K., to Zambia and over 30 countries in between
  • Embed diversity, inclusion, and equity into all programs.

Interested in LivingWorks Programs? Contact: Beth Kelln, Strategic Partnerships, [email protected]