Despite being one of the country's lucrative industries, mining down under ain't all beer and skittles.
We're talking 278,000 workers – many living on-site in remote areas.
These folks are having a tough time with psychological distress levels three times higher than most Aussies! And from the looks of it, nearly half of FIFO employees have been found battling depression or anxiety above clinical cutoff; leaving their families to come up for unhealthy lifestyle choices just cope.
With the mining industry's predominately male workforce, aged 41 on average and engaged in a "macho" culture of stigmatisation and risk-taking behavior when it comes to drugs, drinking & smoking - mental health interventions have been long overdue.
Despite the cries for help, FIFO workers and mining communities are often left behind when it comes to much-needed mental health resources. The Lifeline Report showed us that 1 in 5 don't even have onsite support systems - yikes!
The Aussie Institute of Health jump into the ring with facts about city dwellers having access to 8 outta 10 psychologists...9 psychiatrists..and ¾ of any Mental Health Nurses so if you're living remote or regional there's already 4 strikes against ya before stepping up to bat.
That ain’t fair - so we've complied some tips to help keep mentally healthy whilst isolated.
Realise this is not forever it's just for now
It's like we've suddenly been cast in some Carl Barron-esque movie about lockdowns and uncertainty with no script; every day feels off kilter and our stress levels are through the roof. But hey, it'll all be over soon enough - life is just full of twists and turns!
Focus only on what you can control
Trying to juggle all the info and tasks on your plate can be enough to make you feel like a chicken with its head cut off.
Don't let this overwhelm hijack your thoughts; take control of what ya got and learn how to boogie through life's curveballs. Me? I say, "Hey man...it is as it is - we'll get 'er done no matter what!"
Look for the positives and be grateful
If you're feelin' glum, remember: we've all got it better than our cavemen ancestors.
Heck, we have so many heads together that there's no way of knowin' what creative solutions can emerge from the situation! When times get tough and your mind gets down in the dumps - just look around for simple pleasures to be thankful for; like a nice bowl of food or a warm bed at night. Count yer blessings before callin' 'em curses!
Be kind to yourself
Ladies and Genrs, we're all going through a tough times right now and that's normal!
Don't be too hard on yourselves if things ain't hunky-dory.
Remember: it’s ok to not feel okay for the moment - let yourself off the hook once in awhile. On top of everything else happening around us, remember there are people out there who have it way worse than us; so do your best to count those blessings youve still got like food, water and shelter!