General News — 18 March 2014

The Minerals Council says a mental health blueprint provided to mining companies across the Hunter provides practical advice for improving the mental health of their workforce.

The blueprint has been produced by a team at Newcastle University and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health with support from the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources.

Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee says the NSW mining industry is working towards best practice to address mental health issues.bigstock_Dump_Trucks___236132

“To give them a guide on action they can take at a company level in a practical way to assist improving mental health outcomes in our workforce,” he said.

“It comes on the back of research conducted two years ago into the mental health of our mining workforce.

“We acknowledge that the nature of our workforce and some of the issues we face in terms of safety and more recently in relation to job losses, means there are things we can do at a practical level.

Mr Galilee says implementing pro-active measures at an industry level can have a real impact.

“We do work in an industry where safety is our number one priority but recently there have been some incidents which are a reminder to us that we can’t afford to have our workforce distracted and mental health does play a role in that,” he said.

“We also know that over the last 12 months we have seen a number of sad announcements particularly in the Hunter, in relation to job losses and that does weigh heavily on people.”

This article first appeared on ‘ABC’ on 17 March 2014.


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