Suicide prevention in construction

New In-person Resilience-to-Thriving certificate training

Suicide among the U.S. working-age population is increasing, and construction and extraction occupations have one of the highest suicide rates compared to other industries. According to the CDC, a reported 49.4 out of 100,000, or twice the total suicide rate other professions.

Dr. John Gaal, director of AFL-CIO’s Missouri Works Initiative’s Worker Wellness Program and certified resilience facilitator, and Joel Bennett, Ph.D., developer of the Resilience-to-thriving (R2T)  program, will present a full-day in-person certificate training focusing on the building and construction trades from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, March 27 as part of the Construction Working Minds Summit at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

R2T is a positive wellness-oriented and lifestyle approach to the prevention of substance misuse and mental health risks.

The evidence-based, highly interactive course is a cognitive-behavioral toolkit to transform stress. R2T is recognized as effective by the U.S. Surgeon General. Participants receive a workbook, toolkit, facilitator notes, session ratings, and a slide deck; a copy of “Raw Coping Power: From Stress to Thriving,” and practice facilitation in the class. Typically delivered in a 90-minute session (either online or in person), R2T can be adapted for participants’ own training and coaching and expanded into a full-day workshop.

Objectives for workshop participants include learning to:

  • Identify the effects of stress, signs of not coping well, and methods for healthy coping.
  • Recognize one’s own ability to treat stress as a positive resource, enhanced with a healthy lifestyle and coping style.
  • Learn a practical five-step method to thrive from stress.

To register, visit or sign-up for a virtual program starting March 1 through the National Wellness Institute at


Dr. Joel Bennett has trained over 1,000 facilitators in workplace mental health strategies. He is CEO of Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems (, author of seven books, and over 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the field of wellness from the National Wellness Institute.

Dr. John Gall, in addition to his duties as director of AFL-CIO’s Missouri Works Initiative’s Worker Wellness Program, serves as a Labor representative on the St. Louis County Workforce Development Board, and the International Vocational Education and Training Association’s Board of Directors. He has also published numerous articles related to workforce development.


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