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Mental health and well-being in resident mine workers : out of the fly-in fly-out box

McLean, Kristy (2012) Mental health and well-being in resident mine workers : out of the fly-in fly-out box. The Australian Journal of Rural Health, 20(3), pp. 126-130.

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Abstract

Objective: To explore psychosocial issues perceived to impact the mental health and well-being of resident (non-fly-in fly-out) mine workers at a local mine in regional Queensland.

Design: A descriptive qualitative study using semistructured interviews.

Setting: The research was conducted on-site at an opencut coal mine in regional Queensland.

Participants: Ten miners (nine men) currently employed in workshop, production or supervisory roles.

Main outcome measures: Self-reported issues affecting psychological well-being.

Results: Participants’ occupation and the surrounding context appeared to have both positive and negative influences on their well-being. Overall findings could be grouped into four key themes:

(i) the importance of relationships; (ii) the impact of lifestyle; (iii) work characteristics; and (iv) mental health attitudes.

While not without strains on mental health, in general, participants reported that their current situation was superior to their previous mining jobs. This was attributed to close relationships among locally recruited workers, respect for management practices and rosters that allowed adequate sleep recovery and family time between shifts.

Conclusions: This study is the first to examine mental health and well being in non-fly-in fly-out mining populations. It suggests that while some issues appear inherent in the mining occupation, personal and organisational support can help workers have a more positive workplace experience. Further work looking at more extensive comparisons over various mining contexts will greatly assist in the development of programs and support structures for rural and regional mine workers.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 54905
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Psychosocial Health, Australian Mining, Workforce well-being
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2012.01267.x
ISSN: 1440-1584
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2012 08:20
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 08:44

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