11/10/2017 - 14:23

UWA receives $1m for Fifo mental health research

11/10/2017 - 14:23

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The state government has committed funds to the University of Western Australia for research into the mental health and wellbeing impact of the fly-in, fly-out working lifestyle.

The state government has committed funds to the University of Western Australia for research into the mental health and wellbeing impact of the fly-in, fly-out working lifestyle.

Marking the 50th annual Mental Health Week, Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said the near-$500,000 grant to UWA’s Centre for Transformative Work Design would be used to help understand the range of workplace factors that contributed to mental health issues in Fifo workers.

It will also seek to identify positive strategies that can be used by individuals, families and organisations in the Fifo environment.

The research is a response to recommendations from the Education and Health Standing Committee on Fifo mental health and concerns raised by families.

The grant follows a $500,000 investment from the state to UWA's Centre for Transformative Work Design last month, for the development of a comphrehensive set of mental health support services for WA workplaces.

"The benefits and challenges of a Fifo lifestyle can be different to other workforces and parts of the community,” Mr Cook said.

"It's important we determine the nature of wellbeing in this sector and the specific factors and strategies that governments, employers and employees can implement to address mental health and wellbeing of Fifo workers.

"Having mentally healthy workplaces, across all sectors, is good for workers, the community and business.

"This funding will enable important research into the role of workplace factors which shape mental health in Fifo workers.’’

Mr Cook said some of those factors included the attributes of the jobs, rosters, the company culture, leadership, team support and family relationships.

"The state government welcomes insightful wellbeing and mental health research, and initiatives like these,” he said.

“That's why we are investing $61.7 million, over the next four years, to boost mental health prevention and community and treatment services to better support WA communities."

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