Mining agencies and companies have highlighted the importance of addressing mental health in the workplace as part of national R U OK? Day.
R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives.
The organisation held national R U OK? Day on September 9 to remind people that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” and support those struggling with life’s ups and downs.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief executive officer Tania Constable said Australia’s mining industry is delivering a range of programs that promote mental health and wellbeing.
These programs include the MCA’s MineWell mobile app which aims to provide wellbeing and mental health prevention, intervention and education tools for Australian mining workers and their families.
“Since MineWell was launched in June 2021, hundreds of mining workers have been using the app and the feedback we have received strongly indicates it is an important tool along with other company initiatives to help support the mental health and resilience of our workforce,” Constable said.
“The last 18 months have been difficult with the pandemic impacting people’s lives. I encourage mining workers to often reach out to each other and ask if they’re OK. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness – it is a sign of strength.
“The Australian mining industry’s core value and commitment is the safety, health and psychological wellbeing of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work returns home safe and healthy.”
Constable said mental health is central to health and safety, building on the Australian mining sector’s world leadership in workplace health and safety.
“The MCA and its partners have worked over many years to build industry understanding and capacity including through the Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing industry guide,” she said.
Mining companies including BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group also endorsed their support of R U OK? Day with posts on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.