Safety Week and OPAT: Strong Voices, Safe Choices

The first two weeks of May were jammed packed for the CSPP. We started with a full Safety Week schedule. The theme of Safety Week 2023 was Strong Voices, Safe Choices. As soon as Safety Week ended, Max and I packed up to head to Sunriver to support Lines for Life’s annual Opioids and Other Drugs, Pain, and Addiction Treatment (OPAT) conference.

Here are our highlights from the last two weeks.

Safety Week (5/1-5/5)

Monday: Turner Block Project

We started Safety Week off bright and early at Turner’s Block Project to give a toolbox talk on suicide prevention resources. It was impressive to see the huge pit, ready for a crane to come in, where the old Oregonian building once stood. Everyone got an energy boost from the donuts provided, and Max talked about how 988 can be a valuable resource for anyone experiencing mental health challenges. We finished by handing out hard hat stickers and providing the safety professionals with plenty of flyers to hang around the site.

Tuesday: Safety Fair

Tuesday, I got to go out to a site in Hillsboro to participate in a Safety Fair for tradespeople working there. Folks on their breaks came through our tent to view safety equipment, grab goodies, and learn more about different facets of safety. We had a lot of interest in our stickers and materials. As always seems to happen, our table was a spot where people felt comfortable enough to share their stories about substance use and suicide. I was so honored that these folks took time from their busy workday to say hi and talk about such important issues.

Wednesday: Alcohol Presentation and QPR

Max and I both traveled back to the site in Hillsboro for a day of safety trainings. In the morning, Max unveiled his new Rethinking Alcohol presentation, which he created to supplement the new Rethink the Drink materials on our website. We started with a fun Jeopardy-style quiz to engage participants and create space for thoughtful discussions. We had great dialogue around alcohol use, and participants shared the impacts alcohol has on physical and mental health.

In the afternoon, I got to lead a QPR training session. We were able to certify over 50 tradespeople and safety professionals. We had space during the training to answer questions about suicide and suicide prevention. In everyday life, people can rarely ask these sorts of questions about suicide, so I like to make that a priority whenever I teach QPR. We got a lot of good feedback! I am excited to offer more in-person QPR sessions down the road!

Friday: Turner PeaceHealth Project and Kerr Contractors Safety Retreat

We headed to another Turner site on Friday. This time, we went to Vancouver, WA, where the crew is expanding the emergency department of the PeaceHealth Hospital. After statements from multiple safety professionals, Max gave a toolbox talk on the importance of knowing mental health resources. Again we closed with the ritual of passing out stickers and flyers.

We capped the week by driving to Canby for Kerr Contractor’s Safety Retreat. We were the closing act to their long day of safety presentations. We provided them with a CSPP Overview, shared resources, and had an open discussion about the mental and physical health challenges inherent in construction.

OPAT (5/6-5/10)

After a long week of driving to many different sites during Safety Week, we made the trek to Sunriver on Saturday to support and attend OPAT.

We moderated breakout sessions and gained insights into some exciting work in opioid use treatment and prevention across the state. CSPP is committed to addressing opioid misuse and overdoses because of its disproportionate impact on the construction industry. Max and I work to stay up-to-date on the latest research and developments to inform our work.

The past two weeks have been busy, informative, and fun, we look forward to the summer for more outreach opportunities!