New Acland mine calls for greater mental health awareness

Image: New Hope Group

New Hope Group’s New Acland mine in Queensland, in partnership with Lifeline Darling Downs has raised funds to heighten community awareness on the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

A month of joint effort involving fundraiser barbeques had raised $5807, which is enough to fund more than seven safeTALK workshops for the community.

The workshops will be delivered to the Oakey community, which coincides with the recent draught that had affected New Acland operators, many of which are local farmers.

Lifeline chief executive Derek Tuffield said the workshops were designed to help equip participants with the skills to recognise an individual who may be having thoughts of suicide and how to assist them to get help.

Despite New Acland’s many initiatives in the mental health sphere, this was the first time Lifeline had worked directly with the management and staff, Tuffield said.

“Over the past 20 years, Lifelline has maintained a presence in the Oakey community, and given recent challenges the community has faced, the running of free safeTALK workshops during 2019 should be a wonderful tool to help further strengthen the Oakey community,” he said.

“When on-site, I found the crews engaged positively with me whether I was talking about my lived experiences at Lifeline or explaining processes we had developed to help people.”

Tuffield’s repeated visits reinforced many of the mental health and wellbeing efforts underway at the mine, said New Acland health and safety coordinator Bella Reynolds.

“These safeTALK workshops will be invaluable in helping us pick up subtle changes in our workforce’s behaviour and offer assistance,” she said.

The workshops are suitable for anyone above the age of 15 and facilitated by a qualified trainer.

New Acland mine is north-west of Oakey.