The Australian mining industry launched a new blueprint to address mental health and wellbeing issues in the workforce, announced by the Minerals Council of Australia last week.
The blueprint, launched at the CEO Health and Safety Forum held in Melbourne by the MCA, is based on work commissioned by the NSW Minerals Council to the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health.
MCA chief executive Brendan Pearson said the development of the blueprint reflects the minerals sector’s recognition that industry has a key role to play in addressing mental illness and wellbeing.
“The Blueprint for Mental Health in the Mining Industry provides a broad-based framework for best practice models of health and safety for the sector,” he said.
“This Blueprint spells out goals and strategies for the promotion of health, prevention of mental health problems and response to those in need. It also describes programs for supporting return to work, underpinned by an emphasis on robust evaluation.
“The Blueprint recognises that the support for workers in remote environments and their families is a key priority and ongoing challenge for the industry.”
Mr Pearson said mental health is “everyone’s business” and industry has a key role to play, and a willingness to work intensively with communities, researchers and health services to advance our progress towards better mental health for all.
“Mental illness can affect workplace productivity through absenteeism and ‘presenteeism’ and if problems are left unaddressed, it can also have an effect on rates of the prevalence of accidental injury in the workplace,” he said.
“Despite the growing awareness of the importance of mental health, there is still much to do. The development and launch of the Blueprint is an important step forward. It builds on research that has concluded that a broad multifaceted approach within an industry framework is most likely to deliver long term results, and bring best return on investment, both cost benefit and broader social benefit.”
View the blueprint here.