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New approach to mental health in resources sector

A Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing, a guide for best practice for the resources sector has been launched.

The Blueprint provides helpful direction to the sector as a whole and individual work sites to:

  • Promote mental health
  • Prevent mental ill-health
  • Build capacity and culture to effectively address mental health and mental ill-health in the workplace
  • Respond effectively and early in order to reduce the impact of mental ill-health on employees and their families
  • Through research, address the gaps in our knowledge of mental health and mental ill-health in the industry.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) released the blueprint during Mental Health Week as a sign of the industry's commitment to the workforce, according to QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche.

"The Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing provides a framework for the sector to promote health and wellbeing, as well as reduce the risks and impacts of mental illness," he said.

"It identifies key directions for the Queensland resources sector and promotes evidence-based strategies that can be applied at workplaces across the state.

"The resources sector takes mental health seriously and already implements some very good initiatives and services to mitigate the risk of problems in its workforces.

"Mental health is a community-wide issue. Given there is a growing incidence of mental ill health in the broader community it's likely that there will be similar issues in our sector, so we accept that across the board the challenge is to take the services and programs provided for employees to the next level."

He said the QRC recognised there were challenges associated with workers when their jobs included extended and regular absences from family and home.

The Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing spells out goals and strategies for the promotion of health, prevention of mental health problems and response to those in need. It also describes programs for supporting return to work, underpinned by an emphasis on robust evaluation. The blueprint recognises that the support for workers in remote environments and their families is a key priority and ongoing challenge for the industry.

"Despite the growing awareness of the importance of mental health, there is still much to do," said Mr Roche.

"The development and launch of the blueprint is an important step forward. It builds on research that has concluded that a broad multi-faceted approach within an industry framework is most likely to deliver long term results, and bring best return on investment, both as a cost benefit and a broader social benefit."

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