We’re co-hosting the 30th Annual Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) Conference alongside the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Edmonton. The conference is taking place October 16 – 19, 2019.
Presenters from across Canada and around the world will be coming to speak about suicide prevention and this year’s theme, Reconciliation: Honouring the Other. Our conference theme is Reconciliation: Honouring the Other. This theme forefronts the need to heal relationships to drive connectedness, a key underpinning of suicide prevention. Whether we are focused on individual relationships, engaging with priority populations or fueling the suicide prevention network across Canada, reconciliation and honouring is needed.As the conference dates approach, we are pleased to begin announcing our keynote speakers. We have been working hard to bring keynote speakers who are passionate about suicide prevention to share their unique ideas, innovative programs and impactful stories to the conference.
We’re happy to welcome Jorgen Gullestrup, who is the CEO and founder of Australia’s MATES in Construction.
Construction workers in Australia are six times more likely to die by suicide than from workplace accidents: the industry loses 190 workers each year to suicide (Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, 2006).
MATES in Construction is a suicide prevention strategy for those working in the construction industry. It developed out of the recognition that those in the industry needed a solution that fit their particular and unique needs.
As a plumber by trade, Gullestrup was deeply connected with the construction industry and those employed in it. Gullestrup believed that those he wanted to help were also the best people to tell him how he could. Through careful consultation with those working in construction, and drawing from qualitative and quantitative research, MATES in Construction has helped to reduce suicide rates in the construction industry, which for younger employees (age 15-24) was over twice the national average at 58.6 per 100,000 as opposed to 24.5 per 100,000. (Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, 2006)
Gullestrup will be at the CASP conference as both a keynote speaker and a breakout session presenter. In his keynote speech, conference delegates will hear how a plumber from Denmark moved to Australia and subsequently developed a world renowned suicide prevention strategy, a strategy unique in its approach of building from the target group outwards. Delegates who attend the breakout session will work on answering the question “If I were to have my own version of MATES, what would that look like?” and will walk away with a jumping off point to take into their communities.