There is a new ‘Working Away Alcohol and Drug Support Line’ that offers free counselling and support services for FIFO workers and their partners. It has been launched by the Mental Health Commission in response to the recent increase in FIFO suicides as well as the release of the Parliamentary Inquiry’s report on the impact of FIFO work practices on mental health. The report calls for a new code of practice and has found suicide to be a ‘workplace hazard’ for FIFO workers. The number for the Support Line is 1800 721 997 and they can also be contacted via email email@example.com
The hotline, which I had the pleasure to visit recently, has been applauded by some of the big names in mining and we agree that every little bit helps. I also believe it is important to have a prevention strategy and this starts with the companies. Workers need a mechanism to speak with trained professionals before they have turned to substance abuse, not after. What we would like to see is the companies taking the Inquiry’s report on board and start implementing the recommendations.
Drug and alcohol abuse can often be seen as a method of coping with stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. There are many other proactive ways of coping with mental health issues before they escalate to substance abuse.
Having worked with many FIFO workers and their families, Acorn Life Path has come to realise that there are three pillars of success when it comes to living a happy and successful FIFO lifestyle. These are as follows:
1. Healthy Finances – Financial stress is one of the root causes of relationship issues, anxiety and depression and so it is important to know how to manage your finances well. Here’s some of our recommendations:
2. Strong Relationships – relationship issues are a big contributor to mental illness, so make sure you are looking after your relationship:
3. A Plan for the Future – you don’t have to work FIFO forever if that’s not in your plans. Many people with depression do not believe in a better future and often feel hopeless or helpless. However, having a plan for the future helps to solidify the fact that things will improve even if things aren’t going to plan.
If you would like to hear more about the three pillars of success then please join us at one of our regular free FIFO Financial Education Sessions and meet other like-minded people.
Click here for more information and to book in your free spot.