Min­is­ter de­fends FIFO health ini­tia­tives

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Men­tal Health Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell has rub­bished per­cep­tions the State Govern­ment has not taken ac­tion on ad­dress­ing men­tal health is­sues fac­ing flyin, fly-out work­ers.

Re­spond­ing to claims made last week the Govern­ment had made no progress in im­ple­ment­ing any of the 30 rec­om­men­da­tions made by the in­quiry into the im­pact of FIFO work prac­tices on men­tal health, Ms Mitchell said “sig­nif­i­cant” progress had been made on rec­om­men­da­tions which ap­plied to the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion.

She said the Telethon Kids In­sti­tute had been con­tracted to de­velop a coro­nial sui­cide in­for­ma­tion sys­tem which should be ready early next year.

“A FIFO men­tal health re­search steer­ing com­mit­tee has been es­tab­lished, chaired by Life­line, and com­pris­ing men­tal health, al­co­hol and other drug and in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” she said. “The com­mit­tee is fi­nal­is­ing a re­search brief to con­duct in­de­pen­dent re­search into men­tal health im­pacts of work ar­range­ments and al­co­hol and other drug use on FIFO work­ers and their fam­i­lies.

“The com­mis­sion is fund­ing ser­vices and pro­grams that pro­vide train­ing within the re­sources in­dus­try, in­clud­ing Mates in Con­struc­tion, the work­place sui­cide pre­ven­tion pro­gram and This FIFO Life web­site.”

A pe­ti­tion or­gan­ised by three unions reignited de­bate around the sub­ject ear­lier this month.

If you or some­one you know is think­ing of sui­cide, phone Life­line on 13 11 14.

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

Men­tal Health Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell says “sig­nif­i­cant” progress has been made on im­ple­ment­ing rec­om­men­da­tions into the im­pact of FIFO work prac­tices on men­tal health.

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