The topic of mental health in FIFO and DIDO (drive in/drive out) workers in Australia is frequently in the media. Stories about families devastated by the suicide of FIFO workers who, for different reasons decided it was all too much, occur in the newspapers too regularly. FIFO workers can experience depression, anxiety and loneliness from working in remote locations away from their families and friends. Unfortunately these mental health issues are not exclusive to the mining industry and can affect tradies everywhere.
Male dominated professions such as mining and the trades can have a 'Suck it up', Toughen up', 'Harden up' culture. Whether this is fact or just an assumption, the incidence of asking for help if a miner or tradie is suffering mentally or not coping with his work is significantly reduced in these industries.
In 2011 of the 2273 Australians who died by suicide more than 85% were men. This statistic is alarming to say the least. Over one million Aussie men are suffering from depression and anxiety. That means if you are in a room full of people, chances are at least one person in that room will be suffering from a mental health issue. Is that person you?
Help is at hand
One of the big obstacles to addressing mental health is that everyone is different, what works for one man may not be a preferred option for another. Mental health is not a one solution fits all issue. But being aware of the choices is a big step towards getting help. Isolation need not be an inhibitor to seeking help either, many of the support services below offer telephone or online support.
Beyond Blue has several campaigns running in 2014 targeting men's mental health. All are easy to navigate (for the not so tech savvy of us) and provide lots of places to get help.
The Men's Line
Telephone and online help, support and counselling services for men.
Run by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation this site is aimed at improving the mental health of 12 to 25 year old's.