Workers in mining, oil and gas are being armed with information to help prevent suicide under a new partnership between MiningFM and Wesley LifeForce.
The Rock Solid Suicide Prevention Program aims to build emotional resilience and prevent suicide among workers in the male-dominated resources industry, while also arming families with practical strategies to survive and thrive the challenges of working away, long hours on the job or shift work.
The launch of the national program comes as the West Australian parliament investigates a spike in suicides among FIFO workers in the Pilbara, and greater awareness about Australia's alarming suicide statistics that show:
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.
- 2535 Australians died by suicide in 2012, more than the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents.
- On average, seven Australians take their life each day (and it's believed that for every death by suicide, another 30 people attempt to take their lives).
Although there is no specific research about the rate of suicide among workers in mining, oil and gas, experts generally agree that fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) workers have greater exposure to the risk factors that are known to contribute to deaths by suicide. Those risk factors include social isolation, family and relationship stress and being exposed to high-risk on-the-job activities such as underground mining and blasting.
Under the Rock Solid collaboration, Wesley LifeForce is offering a range of cost-effective workshops to mining and resources companies Australia-wide, to teach simple, effective interventions that can make a real difference – reducing the cost of workplace stress, saving lives and helping to eliminate the devastating impact of losing a staff member to suicide.
These highly interactive workshops are delivered by skilled trainers with extensive experience in suicide prevention and mental health.
Key issues to be addressed include: why people take their own life; risk and protective factors; commonly held beliefs about suicide; how to help someone going through a tough time; barriers to suicide intervention; how to build individual resilience; and implementing the See Ask Listen Tell (SALT) intervention strategy.
Wesley Mission has been a leader in the suicide prevention field for many years, establishing the Lifeline movement and Wesley LifeForce. Established in 1995 as a response to the growing number of suicides in Australia, Wesley LifeForce provides suicide prevention services that educate and empower local communities, supporting people most at risk.
Mining Family Matters has also updated its award-winning Survival Guide for Mining Families to create a new guidebook called ROCK SOLID, with fresh content ensuring workers are provided with practical strategies to boost emotional wellbeing, help prevent suicide and keep their relationships strong and happy.
- Identifying stress and depression
- Overcoming stress, anxiety and sadness
- Surviving in a tough working environment
- Knowing your mental health first aid
- Helping prevent suicide in Australia
- Raising resilient children
- Simple ways to stay connected
- Making your money work
In South Australia, the Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee (MAQOHSC) is funding a Rock Solid Suicide Prevention Pilot Program within the state's mining and quarrying industry. MAQOHSC is the only organisation of its kind in the world – specifically funded by South Australia’s mining and quarrying industry to make workplaces safer.