New Online Mental Health Resource for FIFO Workers
Thanks to the launch of a new online resource, Fly-in Fly-Out (FIFO) workers and their families will now have better access to help and support with mental illness.
The ‘This FIFO Life’ website was developed by the Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia (MIFWA), and it highlights the challenges of the FIFO lifestyle, including the strengths and resilience of FIFO workers and their families.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the West Australian government is committed to seeing the state’s suicide rate drop. Presently, about one person successfully commits suicide each day in the state.
“Part of [the government’s] commitment includes the allocation of small grants through the State Suicide Prevention Strategy for events such as [last week’s] FIFO Expo. It also includes the provision of funds to non-Government organisations such as MIFWA to develop resources such as ‘This FIFO Life’,” the Minister said.
“FIFO workers have unique needs and they will be recognised as a priority group in the new multi-year suicide prevention strategy currently under development.”
In order to identify where more information was needed to raise awareness of mental health, MIFWA undertook considerable consultation with FIFO workers and their families.
“The result is a fantastic website with blogs, articles and links about many different issues relating to mental health and FIFO workers,” Mrs Morton said. “It also includes short videos of FIFO workers and family members highlighting issues and sharing ideas, as well as a section on where to get help.”
The FIFO Expo mentioned followed the of R U OK? Afield, a new resource to help FIFO workers talk to their friends and colleagues if they think they might need help.
“R U OK? Afield uses tongue-in-cheek humour to remind mates working far from home that it’s not always obvious that someone is struggling,” Mrs Morton said. “Resources include posters for staff and team leaders, staff postcards and toolbox talking points for managers.”