Ninemsn reports that calls are being made for more mental health care at mine sites. Much has been done in recent years to improve the physical safety of employees working in these remote, highly dangerous locations. But until now mental health has been ignored, in what is often a very macho environment where emotional problems are habitually discounted.
BRISBANE, April 23 AAP – Mental health initiatives should be employed as standard safety measures on mine sites along with fluoro shirts and eye protection, a health organisation says.
The Australasian Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health says depression, anxiety and stress remain largely hidden on mining sites despite posing a serious safety risk.
The centre’s chief executive Dr Jennifer Bowers says many mining companies are reluctant to spend money on programs that improve their employees’ mental health.
“It’s very acceptable now for everybody to wear their fluoro gear, to wear their protective gear, to be aware of all of the issues that they have to protect their safety and their health,” Dr Bowers told AAP.
“What’s not recognised is that if you don’t feel good about yourself, (or) you’ve got problems with your family or your mates, (or) you’re not functioning well, you’re over 40 per cent more likely to be at risk of a physical accident.”
Research is lacking but anecdotal evidence suggests mine workers are suffering depression and other mental health problems because they are subject to various stresses.
These include time away from family, long shifts, harsh environments, and dangerous jobs that demand high levels of concentration.
“People disclose to us some of the issues they face which they might not normally do because it’s not a safe environment to say anything,” Dr Bowers said.
“People will not declare it in those macho, ‘suck it up, princess’ sorts of environments.”…More at Call for more mental health care at mines
We have created a list on this site of 7 things that you can do to safeguard your own mental health along with links to sites with further information available. You can find all of these details at 7 Tips for Good Mental Health.