FIFO workers’ mental health problems exacerbated by ‘macho’ attitudes

Fifo Mental Health A generic FIFO Image. Source:

THERE is a “toughen up princess” attitude on work sites that prevents some fly-in fly-out workers from seeking help for mental health problems, a union says.

The West Australian government’s education and health standing committee is conducting an inquiry into the mental health impacts of FIFO work and heard from several speakers on Wednesday.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union state secretary Mick Buchan said in a statement there was a macho attitude on sites, so workers were often too scared to raise concerns for fear their employment would be threatened.

Mr Buchan said there needed to be independent support structures, shorter roster lengths, better communication services, more regulation and a pathway back to work for those who had experienced a mental health issue.

FIFO Families founder and director Nicole Ashby says people don’t realise the impact the lifestyle can have on workers’ mental health and the pressure on their families who live without them for extended periods.

Read the full story by, 6 November 2014

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.

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