Mineral Resources Limited (MRL) has entered into a new partnership with Lifeline WA to address the mental health challenges facing workers in Western Australia’s mining sector.
Under the terms of the three-year partnership, MRL will be contributing cash and in-kind support to help Lifeline WA carry out and expand its work as the state’s largest suicide prevention service. One of the outcomes of the partnership will be that Lifeline WA provides training opportunities for MRL so that their staff can have the confidence, willingness and skills to have conversations about mental health at the earliest opportunity.
The partnership gives mental health the same priority as physical health when considering the wellbeing of MRL staff. The focus of the investment will be Lifeline WA’s award-winning telephone crisis support service as well as helping to establish mining sector-specific mental health resources.
Last financial year alone, Lifeline WA volunteers answered a record 33,879 calls from people in need of support. Overall, more than 50,000 Western Australians utilised Lifeline WA’s service. That number is likely to rise this financial year because of the impacts of COVID-19.
MRL’s Managing Director, Chris Ellison said MRL relies on its workforce, which is why the company is doing everything possible to ensure its team of 3,100 men and women remains not just physically healthy but also mentally healthy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the stress that some workers across the entire WA mining industry, not just FIFO workers, are under. Having an organisation like Lifeline WA that is well-funded and able to expand on its vital crisis support service is hugely important not only for MRL but for the entire State.”
Mr Ellison said that to highlight the importance of talking to one another, MRL has branded its NextGen II crushing plant in Lifeline WA’s trademark blue.
“The plant, which will be deployed to a Pilbara mine site, will stand 22 metres tall when fully erected and be a highly visible reminder for everyone to check in on their mental health and also to reach out to workmates to make sure no one is left alone.”
Lifeline WA Chief Executive Officer Lorna MacGregor said she recently visited a MRL site and heard first-hand from hard-working people about how important it is to feel supported and support others while being away from family.
“We are grateful to Mineral Resources for acknowledging this need and for making mental health and suicide prevention a priority,” she said.
“I hope that the highly visible 13 11 14 number on the Mineral Resources NextGen II crusher encourages any person who is contemplating suicide, experiencing emotional distress or caring for someone in crisis to call us on 13 11 14,” Ms MacGregor added.