How to thrive and not just survive the FIFO life

THE Western Australian government has followed up on a promise to address hazards and risk factors in fly-in, fly-out workplaces and made a host of mental health support resources available to workplaces to promote positive mental health and wellbeing and support employee mental health at the coalface.
How to thrive and not just survive the FIFO life How to thrive and not just survive the FIFO life How to thrive and not just survive the FIFO life How to thrive and not just survive the FIFO life How to thrive and not just survive the FIFO life

According to the Thrive at Work website “work is more than just a place to survive each day”. Photo by Karma Barndon

Developed by Curtin University's Centre for Transformative Work Design, the Thrive at Work platform offers workplaces a mix of assessment tools, educational materials and other resources to help identify mental health problems so people can thrive at work.

The Thrive at Work resources were developed with a $500,000 WA government grant as part of the Suicide Prevention 2020 strategy, the broader approach to boost mental health and wellbeing in the state.

According to the Thrive at Work website "work is more than just a place to survive each day".

"While supporting those experiencing a mental illness is a vital part of any wellbeing initiative, there is an opportunity to do more to protect against psychological harm and provide an environment that fosters the development of positive mental health," it says.

WA has developed a code of practice to help promote and maintain mentally healthy workplaces for FIFO workers in the resources and construction sectors.

That was a direct response to the troubling findings from 2014's inquiry into the impact of FIFO work arrangements on the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers.

This parliamentary inquiry was held after nine FIFO workers killed themselves in the space of a year.

Given one in every five Australians experience mental health issues it is important workplaces are healthy and positive places to be.

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said with so much time spent at work it made sense that there were resources available to help workers stay mentally healthy at work.

"By providing funding for Thrive at Work, we are reaffirming our commitment to ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of Western Australians is a priority," he said.

"I encourage all workplaces to think about mental health and implement strategies to improve awareness of mental health in their workplace, and provide appropriate support to their employees."

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the suite of mental health resources were a great step forward to helping combat psychosocial hazards at FIFO workplaces.