Dugald River is proud to be working with MATES in Mining (MIM) to help educate our workforce on mental health and suicide prevention. The simple idea behind the MATES program is “suicide is everyone’s business.”
FIFO work can be a challenging environment with the inconsistency of shift work, long hours, lack of work/life balance and loneliness, this can put stress into personal and professional relationships, and strain on an individual’s well-being.
MIM is an initiative of the Australian Mining industry based on the successful MATES in Construction program in the Australian construction industry. The program is about MATES helping MATES by tailoring a program that provides suicide prevention program through site-based community development.
It begins with the MATES General Awareness program that teaches everyone about what to notice when their MATE is doing it tough. Then some of our workers have volunteered to be CONNECTORS – MATES who know how to listen, how to ask their MATE directly about suicide and how to connect their MATE to help. We also have some workers who have volunteered for MATES’ third program called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) – which is suicide first aid – and we need them just like we need first aiders on site – so that we can actively support our MATES in times of difficulty.
MIM also provide a few more layers of support for us. Vince Borg is the new MATES Field Officer, and he will be coming on site to support us and help our community continue to grow. In addition, MATES also have their own case managers who will connect our MATES to suitable services in their local area or the industry, so participants can find the best support and help – whatever that may be.
Dugald River has been working with MIM to help raise awareness and build our team’s capabilities in the areas of health and suicide prevention. Together we are building a community at Dugald River, where everyone understands the warning signs, knows where they can go to get help and develops our culture of looking out for another. Over the year, Dugald has hosted a number of sessions with MIM and we look forward to working with the team into the future.
“It has been a pleasure to start working with MMG and the Dugald River site, to build a community of MATES who can look out for their MATES. The welcome on site from everyone has been tremendous and we look forward to every visit.
However, it’s important to remember that we are not just training mine workers, they are also mums, dads, netball coaches, footy coaches, sons, daughters, the local mayor – what our MATES are learning is also applicable at home and in their local community – and that is a huge bonus for all of us. We lose 8 Australians every day to suicide, so having MATES around us at work, at home, in our community that can look out for us and offer help is important. Dugald River’s commitment to the MATES program means our community is suicide safer.
MATES in Mining is looking forward to being part of the Dugald River community for many years to come and working with our MATES to continue growing and learning”
Life can get hard sometimes, those big issues stack up – and we don’t know where to start – between relationships, family, work, money – sometimes it’s all a bit too much for us. If a mate is struggling with some of life’s big issues and you want to offer a mate a hand (you or they don’t need to even be in the industry)- please do something – contact MATES in Mining’s National Helpline on 1300 642 111. Alternatively, there are a range of other great helplines available including Lifeline (13 1114) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636).
If you are thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis help is available, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
- Martin Brownlee, Superintendent - SHEC, Dugald River with Vince Borg, MIM Queensland.