03/06/2021 - 11:00

New mental health app for FIFOs

03/06/2021 - 11:00

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A mobile application aimed at improving mental health outcomes for Australia’s 250,000 mining-sector workers was launched today.

New mental health app for FIFOs
Western Australia accounts for more than half of Australia's mining workforce. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A mobile application aimed at improving mental health outcomes for Australia’s 250,000 mining-sector workers was launched today.

The MineWell app includes personalised sleep scheduling, a social connection tool and a finance budgeting feature intended to reduce stress and improve the overall wellbeing of fly-in, fly-out workers.

It also features a crisis response tool for direct calls to MATES in Mining, Lifeline, Beyondblue and other help services.

In announcing the MineWell launch, Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said many FIFOs had been subject to longer stints and working hours, as a result of COVID-19.

“Mental health problems can have an adverse impact on mining workers, their families and industry productivity,” Ms Constable said in a statement.

“Australia’s mining industry is delivering a range of programs that promote mental health and wellbeing, prevent problems, provide an effective and early response as part of an integrated approach within overall health and safety policy and practice.

“Today’s launch of the MineWell app is a great step forward in making help available to mining workers and their families who may be going through a tough time because of long hours, separation, isolation or financial stress.”

The MineWell app was developed by the MCA in collaboration with Victorian advertising group Utility Creative.

It includes advice and exercises for improving sleep quality and staying active, as well as tools to manage breathing and emotions.

Western Australia accounts for more than half of Australia's mining workforce, with about 142,900 people employed during 2020.

Today, the state government announced a new scholarship program for indigenous postgraduate students undertaking research relevant to WA's mining sector.

They will receive $40,360 per annum through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) to support research undertaken at any one of the state's universities.

They will also have access to professional and communication skills training, industry and academic networking opportunities, and mentoring and career development support.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the MRIWA scholarship promoted diversity and recognised the contribution traditional owners made towards the state's mining industry.

“Upskilling graduates boosts their chances of working in a leadership role in the mining sector," he said.

"I encourage all eligible candidates to consider applying for this opportunity.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson said he hoped the scholarship would relieve financial pressure on those studying for a career in mining.

Applications for the scholarship opened today and will close on September 30.

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