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Twice the Rate of Depression for FIFO Workers By Janine Nicholson
67,000 workers are employed on a fly‐in, fly‐out basis in the resources sector. Such a large group of people is obviously going to contain a diverse cross‐section of the population in terms of age, life experiences, expectations of work, and mental and physical health background.
· Feelings of isolation and loneliness: this reported across research studies regardless of education level, profession, or roster duration.
· Stress, which gets worse for some people during the home to work transition periods. · Depression, which is likely to influence employment performance and increase risk of suicide.
· Anxiety that affects sleep, concentration, employment performance and causes irritability.
· Substance misuse - while mining companies are excellent at testing workers for drugs and alcohol on site, some FIFO workers use substances on their R&R period.
· Sleep problems - most FIFO workers work 12 hour shifts. Less than 6 hours of sleep affects their mood, coping ability and concentration.
· Limited social networks have been identified by research as a real issue with FIFO workers.
The lead researcher, Philippa Vojnovic from ECU's School of Business said the ECU study highlighted the need for robust support systems to be in place at FIFO workplaces. She lists her 5 Key Takeaway Points:
· FIFO work does not cause mental health problems, it exposes workers to risk factors
· Suicidal behavior requires professional help
· Organisations must know their responsibilities for worker mental health
· Organisational strategies do have positive impacts on mental health and suicide rates
· Stigma about mental health and suicidal behavior needs to be reduced"
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My Wellbeing is an innovative set of cloud based tools and resources that make it easy for managers to Identify, Nurture and Improve Workplace Mental Health. Learn more at one of our free webinars - http://myosh.com/
myosh Marketing Director