The Working Away Alcohol and Drug Support Line is free and accessible 24/7 via phone or email.
WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the state government established the line because working away from home could increase the risk of alcohol and other drug related problems, and mental illness, due to social isolation, family and relationship stress, and a lack of venues for socialising without alcohol.
“Using drugs and alcohol, plus having a mental illness can increase the risk of suicide,” she added.
“The profile of an average FIFO worker mirrors a demographic at high risk of suicide – males aged between 15 and 44.
“Providing a support service for FIFO workers and others working away from home is an important element in helping people facing these problems.”
The Working Away Alcohol and Drug Support Line cost $120,000 to establish.
It comes after the WA parliament last month released a report titled ‘The impact of FIFO work practices on mental health”, conceding that FIFO workers had a 30% incidence rate of mental distress, 10% higher than the general population.
The report called for an improved help service with phone, email and live chat components after recognising some workers’ use of alcohol and other drugs as a coping mechanism against social isolation and other FIFO-related stresses.
The Working Away Alcohol and Drug Support Line is accessible on 1800 721 997 or email@example.com.