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LHSFNA’s Jamie Becker Named Chairperson for Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention

The LHSFNA’s Director of Health Promotion, Jamie Becker, was recently appointed as Chairperson on the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) Board of Trustees. In this role, Becker will help support CIASP’s mission to raise awareness and equip all levels of the construction workforce with the tools and education necessary to reduce the risk of suicide in our industry. Founded in 2016, CIASP is the only construction-specific non-profit organization in North America focused solely on the mental health and well-being of the workforce and their family members.

Throughout her career, Becker has dedicated herself to promoting employee health and wellness. As a licensed clinical social worker, she specializes in behavioral health issues, including mental health, substance use disorders and suicide prevention. In her role as Director of Health Promotion at the Fund, her work has spanned issues including health care legislation, crisis management, wellness programming and health care benefit design.

LIUNA General President Brent Booker
LIUNA General President
Brent Booker

“Jamie has been a tireless advocate for destigmatizing mental health and preventing suicide in the construction industry,” said LIUNA General President and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman Brent Booker. “Her passion and expertise aligns seamlessly with CIASP’s mission and we know that with her help, the organization will continue to make impactful strides in our industry.”

According to the CDC, construction has one of the highest suicide rates. A variety of factors contribute to this, including that construction work is inherently fast-paced and can be physically and emotionally taxing. However, Becker and the CIASP don’t believe we have to accept this as a rule. As an industry, we are taking steps to change the culture and acknowledge that mental health is just as important as physical health.

“The suicide crisis is an uncomfortable truth for the construction industry, however, the facts are clear,” Becker said. “I’m determined to do everything I can to help remove both institutional and cultural barriers that keep many of our workers from getting the help they need to address their mental health and well-being.”

The CIASP Board feels encouraged by the progress they’ve seen around promoting mental health in the construction industry, and feels optimistic that real change is here. Industry leaders have noticed a significant shift in people’s willingness to talk about mental health and suicide in recent years. Ten years ago, you likely would have been shrugged off or judged for talking about mental health or suicide, Becker explained. However, while there’s still much left to be done, there’s been a marked shift in attitude around the topic.

“The conversation about mental health is happening more now than ever before,” Becker explained. “I’m working with LIUNA colleagues in different Regions who are putting together amazing programs to address members’ behavioral health issues, we’re connecting members with resources and benefits and spreading the word to all who will listen. People are asking for these services and asking for the Fund’s resources, such as suicide prevention publications and posters. We’re moving in a positive direction.”

CIASP’s Board of Trustees recently convened to discuss long-term goals and action steps. CIASP is still a relatively young organization and hired its first full-time employee, Executive Director Sonya Bohmann, in May of 2023. Going forward, they hope to continue to grow their staff and, in turn, their services.

For more information on CIASP, visit their website. For more information on what the LHSFNA is doing to address suicide, check out our Suicide Prevention resources page.

[Hannah Sabitoni]

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