Mental Health & FIFO Mining

While workplace physical safety of FIFO workers is a high priority on mining sites, mental health safety is still, if not stigmatized, then underestimated.

This is often because of the lack of understanding in society about mental health issues, their source and general expression in public. Common belief is that people with mental health issues are erratic, dangerous and possibly violent. The truth is that they are more often at risk of being attacked or self-harming behavior than harming others.

It is well known that most people are driven 90% by their unconscious mind. In other words, we are driven by things we are not aware of and yet can’t usually access them. The unconscious mind is the source of unresolved negative emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, guilt and variety of others (often attached to memories of unresolved situations in the past). Our unconscious is also the source of limiting beliefs and strategies, habits or negative thought patterns. Any of these can take over at any time and drive our behavior against our conscious will, which makes on average just 10 % of our mind.

While the average person’s mind is divided into roughly 10 % of conscious thoughts and actions and 90 % unconscious, a genius mind operates around 25 % consciously and 75 % unconsciously. What does it mean?
We all are simply vulnerable to mental health issues as their source in unconscious (the biggest part of our mind) can bring up on the surface limitations in form of negative emotions, limiting beliefs or negative thought patterns. Our unconscious can hit anyone anytime, quite often in the form of depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, addictions or emotional overwhelm.

Common triggering situations for mental health issues are when we are out of our comfort zone. It could be divorce, job loss, death of someone close, accident or health issues. It could be even a car passing around us on the street. The extremes of FIFO mining work are common triggers for mental health symptoms, e.g. being away from family and loved ones or the pressure to earn a living to provide for the family.

The stigma and negative perception of mental health in general is another challenge that when overcome, for both the mining organisations and FIFO workers can speed up the process of effective help.

The 2018 report developed by psychologists highlighted a number of potential causes of mental health concerns within Australian mining and found that FIFO workers are much more at risk.

Sources of mental health hazard in Australian mining according to the report are:

• Repetitive and monotonous tasks
• Excessive demand of mining work
• Long working hours, often for several consecutive days
• Extreme environmental conditions
• The need to work remotely and isolated nature of work away from the family and the closest ones
• Heightened levels of physical and mental fatigue
• Poor mental health
• Stress
• Fatigue
• Bullying, violence, aggression
• Harassment
• Burnout
• Misuse of alcohol or other drugs
• Poor change management – increased risk of harm to health from exposure to a hazard

The shared stresses of FIFO and fixed-shift employees can be tackled through holistic solution. Mining organisations can provide an environment that promotes good health and well-being.

Effective emotional therapy can help FIFO workers to overcome the sources of mental health issues hazards in Western Australian mining. Effective emotional therapy can help to make a great deal of headway towards mental well-being.

Tom at Dynamic Mind Change uses combination of highly effective therapeutic tools of NLP and Hypnosis, to access and deal with source of the problem in the unconscious part of mind to overcome the issue, stabilize clients state and minimize chance of future relapse.