Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mental health is set to receive a boost in Western Australia following an investment into research involving the wellbeing and mental health impact of the FIFO arrangement on workers.
The State Government has granted the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Centre for Transformative Work Design $498,841 for research to understand the range of workplace factors contributing to mental health issues.
The research program will also aim to identify positive strategies for individuals, families and organisations that can be used in the FIFO environment.
It is in response to recommendations from the Education and Health Standing Committee on FIFO mental health and concerns raised by families.
It comes after the State Government announced another new partnership with UWA last month, which saw $500,000 invested into the Centre for Transformative Work Design for the development of mental health support services for WA workplaces.
The two projects bring the total government investment in the Centre for Transformative Work Design into workplace-related mental health and wellbeing to almost $1 million.
Mental Health Minister Roger Cook made the announcement as part of the 50th annual Mental Health Week.
The week aim encourages more people to turn their attention to mental health awareness.
Mr Cook said the research was a welcome investment.
“The McGowan Labor Government welcomes insightful wellbeing and mental health research, and initiatives like these,” he said.
“This funding will enable important research into the role of workplace factors which shape mental health in FIFO workers. Some of these factors include the attributes of the jobs, rosters, the company culture, leadership, team support and family relationships.”
He said it was important to acknowledge mental health challenges in FIFO environments.
“In Western Australia, we have a large population of FIFO workers. The benefits and challenges of a FIFO lifestyle can be different to other workforces and parts of the community,” Mr Cook said.
“It’s important we determine the nature of wellbeing in this sector and the specific factors and strategies that governments, employers and employees can implement to address mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers.”
“Having mentally healthy workplaces, across all sectors, is good for workers, the community and business.”