Union Construction Industry Unites to Combat Substance Use Disorder and Build Mental Wellness at 4th Annual BTEA Recovery Week

PR Newswire
Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 3:37pm UTC

Union Construction Industry Unites to Combat Substance Use Disorder and Build Mental Wellness at 4th Annual BTEA Recovery Week

PR Newswire

According to data from the CDC, the construction industry has the highest overdose death rate across all industries1. Construction workers are five times more likely to die by suicide than safety-related issues2. BTEA is uniting the union construction industry to combat this crisis and save lives.

Legendary Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Professional Football Tight End Darren Waller will join the week's efforts to combat substance use disorder, improve mental wellness and break through the stigma.

BOSTON, April 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Led by the Building Trades Employers' Association (BTEA) Northeast and its subcontractor members throughout New England, building trades unions, general contractors, developers, and vendor partners will come together to combat substance use disorder (SUD), build mental wellness, and educate both labor and management about viable recovery and mental health resources. The 4th annual week will include opportunities for training, education, and powerful stories of recovery from Legendary Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Professional Football Tight End Darren Waller.

"In our 4th year, we are encouraged by the outreach we have received to-date, with recovery support evolving into a year-round effort." said Tom Gunning, Executive Director of BTEA Northeast. "But we are still in the middle of a crisis and it is imperative that we come together to break the cycle. We want to ensure that our workforce can receive the support they need to work in a safe environment and in good health."

The 4th Annual BTEA Recovery Week will include the following events: all are open to the media.

  • Monday, April 29:  Opening Night featuring the following guest speakers:
    • Sugar Ray Leonard, Legendary Boxer
    • Darren Waller, Football Tight End
  • Tuesday, April 30:  Women's Wellness featuring Gail Brenner Nastasia, Gloucester, Massachusetts native, author and recovery advocate.
  • Wednesday, May 1:  SUD & Mental Health Trends featuring Lori McCarthy, LADC, CAI, Executive Director, and Partner of Herren Wellness
  • Friday, May 3:  Multi-state standdowns in Boston, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut in collaboration with WS Development, Turner Construction, and the New England Laborers' Tri-Funds to commemorate the lives lost to the opioid and mental health crisis.
    • Legendary Professional Football Captain Matthew Slater will join the Boston, MA standdown.

"This week, and the work being done throughout the year, is critical to ensuring that our brothers and sisters receive our full support in tackling the challenge of substance use disorder." said Shawn Nehiley, General Vice President of the Ironworkers International "I am a firm believer that when we show up and work together, we can do anything including combating this crisis."

New this year, and in response to the Biden-Harris Administration's White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose as part of President Biden's Unity Agenda efforts to beat the overdose crisis, BTEA will unveil a year-round effort to provide complimentary Narcan and mental health training to subcontractor members and their employees.

Find more information about Building Trades Recovery Week at:  Building Trades Recovery Week | BTEA Northeast

About Building Trades Employers' Association Northeast
BTEA Northeast serves as the major voice for the union building trades contractor for all of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and portions of upstate New York. For almost one hundred years, BTEA has made a positive impact on the union construction industry, while maintaining healthy and prosperous relations between labor and management.

1. National Vital Statistics Reports Volume 72, Number 7 August 22, 2023 (cdc.gov)
2. Suicide Rates by Industry and Occupation — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2021 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
2. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm 

CONTACT: Jenn Gunning, (203) 999-4984, jenn@btea.com

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SOURCE Building Trades Employers’ Association of Boston and Greater Eastern Massachusetts