UWA probing FIFO mental health
Summary: THE University of Western Australia is surveying 1500 fly-in, fly-out workers to study their wellbeing, mental health and the effects of the work on their families to gather more information on what it says is an under-researched area.....
The UWA study has been commissioned by the Mental Health Commission and will provide background and evidence that companies can use to design workplaces that are positive for mental health and wellbeing.
UWA said that the effect of FIFO life on workers and their families’ mental health was not well understood, despite a strong FIFO culture in Australia and Western Australia.
FIFO and drive-in, drive-out work poses particular demands on workers and their families, however it is not understood how certain workplace factors affect FIFO workers’ mental health and general wellbeing.
“Without insights into the workplace aspects that shape the FIFO experience, targeted strategies and initiatives focussed on protecting and enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers and their families cannot be provided,” UWA said.
The study will not just look at what contributes to mental health, but also identify positive and negative workplace experiences and the strategies used by workers and their families to protect against possible challenges, and then identify the relative importance of each factor.
This will include those related to the work itself, the site facilities and the FIFO workers.
UWA said the survey would include questions about mental health and wellbeing, work and the workplace and family and social life and would take 30 minutes to complete.
It said the information would be reported back to the Mental Health Commission.
The study will form the basis for guidance and support for the workers and their families.
Those taking part in the study will get personalised feedback.