Mental health is something that everyone who works in mining should be aware of. Whether your own, or someone else’s mental health, chances are you will be affected in some way in your time in the industry. Mining industry mental health awareness is critical to ensuring we look after our mates.Mental health problems can arise in any adult, and chances are increased when working in the mining and resources sector. Conditions in the industry are tough on most levels, and the perfect environment for mental health issues to emerge.

Whether it affects you directly, or someone you know, you should know how to deal with it to an extent. By this, you are not expected to be a psychologist, this simply means you should be able to pick obvious signs, question the affected person about it (the right way) and be supportive. To do these things, you need a basic understanding of how to go about this.

RUOK day is today, and with the help of you will be able to start a conversation that could save a life.

Trying to work out whether someone is struggling can be difficult to say the least, but knowing the right questions to ask, will be very helpful. If someone’s behaviour is a little off compared to normal, if they seem withdrawn or agitated, it could be a sign that something is wrong. If you see this in someone you know well, trust your gut instincts and take action.

Simply by starting a conversation about the changes you have seen may be enough to make a workmate, a friend or family member open up about what the problems are that they are dealing with.

Judging by their response, you can act differently to show them they have your support. If someone says they are not ok, follow up the conversational steps outlined below to help support them, and work out a strategy to manage their problems.

One of the main things to consider when wanting to help someone else out, is to know that you are also in a good place to assist. If you are not in a good head space yourself, or don’t feel confident having the conversation with the person, maybe you should try and think of someone else who is in their network to have the conversation.

Are you thinking about suicide?
You are not alone. Help is available.

These services are available to help you now:

Lifeline: call 13 11 14, use online crisis chat or read their website for self-help tools and more information.
Suicide Call Back Service: call 1300 659 467, register for online counselling or read their website for practical tips and information.
Kids Helpline: call  1800 55 1800, use web or email counselling or read their website for info and stories.
MensLine Australia: call 1300 78 99 78, register for online chat counselling or video counselling or read the tools and information.

Mining industry mental health issues are real. Speak to a friend or colleague. You’re not alone.

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