Working in remote locations in a FIFO or DIDO arrangement can create higher than average rates of stress, not just for workers but also their families.
The social isolation of the work and being away from loved ones has a way of amplifying life’s daily challenges, leading to increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
The rate of these issues is much higher in these workers than the general population –research by Rural and Remote Mental Health shows that more than one-in-four FIFO and DIDO workers experience high to very high psychological stress.
As a mining contractor servicing the mining and resources sector, Macmahon Holdings recognised the need for a proactive mental health program.
The Strong Minds Strong Mines program promotes physical and mental health and is backed by Rural and Remote Mental Health and ambassador Soa “The Hulk” Palelei.
By addressing mental health issues in the workplace and providing our people with the tools to better understand the risk factors, we aim to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, ultimately leading to healthier workers, families and communities.
As we approach the end of the initial 13-month program, it’s clear that Strong Minds Strong Mines has been well received across the business, showing extremely positive results.
On average, 92 per cent of participants now know where to find information about mental health support services and 84 per cent said they had a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
Another 70 per cent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more confident about starting a mental health conversation with someone who might need help.
Building a direct link between mental and physical health, and with the help of ambassador Soa Palelei, an app has been developed to educate and promote the benefits of physical exercise for a healthy body and healthy mind.
Having successfully increased awareness levels and starting to remove the stigma, Macmahon is now looking at ways of developing additional sustainable initiatives and expanding on the program for the next financial year, having made a commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our people and their families.