Fly-in, fly-out workers seeking confidential alcohol and drug support can now access a free 24/7 counselling hotline, developed by the Western Australian Government, to provide assistance and advice.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the Working Away Alcohol and Support Line is an important step in reducing the impact working away can have on someone’s alcohol and drug use due to social isolation, family and relationship stress, and a lack of venues for socialising without alcohol.
She said working away from home could increase the risk of alcohol and other drug related problems and mental illness.
“Using drugs and alcohol, plus having a mental illness can increase the risk of suicide. The profile of an average FIFO worker mirrors a demographic at high risk of suicide – males aged between 15 and 44,” she said.
“Providing a support service for FIFO workers and others working away from home is an important element in helping people facing these problems.
“The service provides free, confidential counselling, support and referral 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people who work away from home, and their families.”
The Mental Health Commission, which on July 1, 2015 merged with the Drug and Alcohol Office, has been working closely with industry to develop the dedicated telephone and online service.
“I encourage workers and their families to access the new support line and use the expert advice to help them address any drug and alcohol issues they may have,” the Minister said.
“Coinciding with the launch of the new helpline, the WA Alcohol and Drug Information Service and the Parent Drug Information Service have both been re-named.
“These important helplines are now called the Alcohol and Drug Support Line, and Parent and Family Drug Support Line to better reflect the nature of these counselling services.”
Contact the Working Away Alcohol and Drug Support Line on 1800 721 997 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or country callers can call toll free on 1800 198 024
Contact the Parent and Family Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or country callers can call toll free on 1800 653 203