Risk factors increased
CURTIN University’s Act Belong Commit campaign manager Amberlee Laws says more common sense and evidence-based strategies should be adopted by the mining industry to help improve the mental health of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers.
Ms Laws cites the examples of offering opportunities for fitness and leisure activities, ensuring workers can keep in touch with loved ones back home and better engagement with local communities.
“We know from research that there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of mental health problems,” Ms Laws said.
“These include being socially isolated, or living or working in isolated areas, harmful use of alcohol and other drugs, family and relationship problems, discrimination, stigma, violence and abuse.
“While further research is needed to guide action on FIFO mental health, it seems that people working in the FIFO industry can sometimes be exposed to more risk factors than other workers.
The campaign looks at issues such as suicide prevention, protecting against and recovering from depression.