Urgent action needed to improve mental wellbeing for FIFO workers

Greens spokesperson for Mental Health Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today called on the Government to urgently implement a number of the recommendations made as part of a Parliamentary Inquiry two years ago into FIFO work and its impact on mental health.  

Ms Xamon said the recommendations have also been subject to further work by a Government committee including industry, unions and mental health groups which has been developing a response.

She said many of the 30 recommendations had been widely acknowledged as requiring urgent implementation.

“It is unacceptable that, despite wide acknowledgment that these reforms are needed, none of the 30 recommendations made in 2015 had been implemented,” Ms Xamon said.

“The lack of action is particularly concerning as WA has an unacceptably high rate of suicide.   

Ms Xamon said men aged 18-44 were at the highest risk for mental ill health and suicide.

She said typical FIFO workers were from this demographic, without adding the stressors that come with working long hours away from supports.

“There is a clear case for the government to progress measures to better support workers,” Ms Xamon said.

“Poor mental health and high rates of suicide are simply too high a price to pay for workers and families.”

Ms Xamon said this month’s National Worker Safety Month presented the ideal opportunity for the Government to take action on this very important issue.