New Research Highlights FIFO Workers’ Mental Health Distress

Image of dump trucks in Rural Australia.
14 May 18
by Andy

New Research Highlights FIFO Workers’ Mental Health Distress

Rural & Remote Mental Health research published today in Medical Journal of Australia

More than 1 in 4 (28%) FIFO workers are experiencing high to very high psychological distress according to newly published research by Rural & Remote Mental Health in conjunction with Edith Cowan University and Orygen (The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health).

The research found that the prevalence of high levels of psychological distress were more than two and half times greater among FIFO workers than the Australian population with workers aged 25 – 34 and those on a 2/1 roster most at risk.

Some of the other key research findings included high levels of stress among workers associated with relationships and missing out on special events (e.g. family birthdays), financial issues, daily work tasks, shift rosters and social isolation.

Published today, 14th May, in the Medical Journal of Australia, the research is one of the most comprehensive studies undertaken into the prevalence and contributing factors of psychological distress among FIFO workers.

Rural & Remote Mental Health CEO Dr Jennifer Bowers said the stigma related to mental health remained a major issue for mining workers.

“Our research found that workers who felt there was stigma attached to mental health problems on site were the workers at greatest risk of high psychological distress,” said Dr Bowers.

“This FIFO mental health challenge requires prevention programs along with early interventions and an industry-wide response, but on the positive side we’re starting to see the major mining contractors and companies renewing their efforts in delivering comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention programs and support for workers.”

To review the research click here

To hear Dr Jennifer Bowers podcast click here

To view the Rural & Remote Mental Health news release click here