FIFO Mental Health Support

While some workplaces and industries are inherently challenging due to high stakes or high stress, such as the army, emergency services, airline pilots and some executive business roles – others are challenging for employees due to the psychological strain the job may cause.

One such industry where a high number of employees experience mental health issues is fly in fly out (FIFO) work. 

FIFO work is particularly popular in Western Australia and Queensland, where a number of large mines operate. FIFO work typically involves workers being flown into their worksite to work ‘swings’ of varying length, from one week to a couple of months, before flying home again. 

While some workers and families who live this lifestyle adapt to this way of life and appear to thrive, it is important to recognise the number of workers and their families who are impacted significantly by the nature of this work.

FIFO Life & Mental Health

 

Although FIFO work does have a number of benefits associated with it, the nature of FIFO work can also be mentally and physically challenging to both FIFO workers and their families.

ABC News reported that mental health distress is more prevalent among FIFO workers than the general community, as a result of social isolation, roster patterns and the strain on relationships.

Recognising this inherent strain of the work on the mental health of FIFO workers is the first step to ensuring FIFO workers and their families are receiving adequate support.

Why is Mental Health Important?

 

When people talk about taking care of your health and wellbeing, they aren’t just referring to your physical health; your mental health and wellbeing plays a huge factor in your overall health too. 

Experiencing mental health issues can lead to problems sleeping, negative thoughts and feelings, physical aches and pains, increased alcohol and substance abuse, mood swings and more. 

FIFO mental health support aims to help the FIFO worker and their family work through the challenges of FIFO life to improve the mental health of all involved.

What Does it Mean to be Mentally Healthy?

 

According to the World Health Organisation, “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” 

Just like you would treat a broken arm or other physical injury, addressing mental health issues involves addressing and working through the issues with a psychologist in Perth as part of relationship counselling or family counselling sessions.

Main Issues FIFO Workers Face

 

Due to the nature of FIFO life, FIFO workers face a number of issues, which can have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

Some of these issues include:

  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Boredom
  • Exhaustion and fatigue from long shifts or changing day/night shifts
  • Missing family and friends
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Increased tiredness and irritability
  • Increased alcohol consumption

Main Issues a Partner & Family Face

 

Healthy relationships and families involve a shared sense of responsibility, respect, commitment and communication, among other factors. FIFO workers and their families may experience a strained relationship due to the absence of the FIFO worker in the everyday running of the household.

The partner and families of FIFO workers may face issues, including:

  • Social isolation
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of assistance in caring for children and household
  • Juggling work, home duties and children without physical support
  • Missing their partner
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Unsettled routine when the FIFO worker returns home

Get a Healthy Life Balance with LifeSkills Australia

The experienced and professional team at Lifeskills Australia are committed to helping FIFO workers and their families maintain their health and wellbeing.

As part of LifeSkills approach to counselling for FIFO workers and their families, you can expect counselling that is aimed at helping you to seize any great opportunities, maintain a great work-life balance and learn to understand & deal with the challenges of FIFO work.

These mental health strategies will stay with you long after each meeting with one of the LifeSkills psychologists in Perth, providing active ways that you and your family can work through each issue you may be experiencing, from loneliness to feeling overwhelmed.

While we can’t change difficult situations of the past, the LifeSkills team can provide FIFO mental health support to help you to better understand and resolve challenges in your life, which will enable you to work towards a great future as a family.

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1800 870 080

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