Early results of research into the mental health of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) mine workers indicate they’re twice as likely to experience mental illness.
University of South Australia PhD candidate Wesley McTernan is researching the impact fly-in, fly-out work has on families.
Mr McTernan says a key part of his research is to survey the partners of people who are away working in the mines.
“This includes questions relating to maintaining family duties, as well as maintaining social lives outside of work as well.
“I guess one thing to think about is a lot of couples have social lives together, and that can be quite difficult to maintain when one partner’s always away.”
Mr McTernan says results are still coming in, but early responses are already raising interesting points.
“Some of our preliminary findings are quite strong in the research so far, such as rates of depression are quite high, they’re actually about twice the average.
“We also found conflict between the partners working and their home lives was associated with more sleep problems, other health problems such as gastrological issues and headaches, as well as increased rates of depression and anxiety.”
This article first appeared on ‘ABC‘ on 19 June 2014.