A new report regarding the impact of ‘fly in, fly out’ (FIFO) work practices on mental health has been published by the Western Australian Government – following a Parliamentary Inquiry.
The report makes a number of recommendations regarding the implementation of support for mental health and reduction of stigma in the workplace for fly in, fly out (FIFO) workers.
Recommendations include the introduction of peer support, training for leaders and managers, and mental health policies and procedures.
Mental Health professionals Sue Crock and Julie Loveny of FIFO support organisation ‘This Fifo Life’ in Australia have joined the March on Stress team to provide specialist training, support and clinical services to the mining industry in Western Australia through a new March on Stress office based in Perth.
Professor Neil Greenberg, Managing Director of March on Stress, said: “All of us at March on Stress are very excited to now be in a position to offer a range of organisational resilience-building services to organisations based in the Southern Hemisphere.
“Hopefully the recommendations in this new report will help to increase the support and processes in place for mental health in the Western Australian mining sector, while building organisational resilience.
“Working in a difficult environment doesn’t mean employees will experience mental health issues, however in the absence of social support of family and friends while working in potentially hazardous conditions, there is an increased potential for exposure to trauma and other mental health issues. There are a number of evidence based ways that employers can ensure their staff are supported and their mental health is protected and we look forward to working with these organisations to help them support their people.”
Sue Crock, co-director of March on Stress Australia and This Fifo Life co-founder, said: “These recommendations are encouraging. FIFO workers are away from family and friends for long periods of time, often carrying out difficult work in tough conditions. Workplaces with mental health policies and strategies in place to address the stigma surrounding mental illness are meeting legal requirements and protecting and supporting workers. This is important in all workplaces, not only the mining and resources sector.
“I very much hope the Parliamentary Inquiry’s recommendations will be implemented. This would demonstrate the Australian mining and resource sector’s commitment to world's best practice in mental health, just as it has demonstrated its commitment to physical occupational health and safety. FIFO workers would not be the only beneficiaries. Other workplaces would follow.”
To read the final report from the Western Australian Government, including the recommendations in full, please click here .
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Keywords : PTSD Recruitment Checks, Sustaining Resilience at Work (StRaW), Building Business Resilience, TRiM Workplace Monitoring
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