Research to improve mental FIFO workers’ mental health receives grant funding


The Western Australian Government has recently granted The University of Western Australia’s Centre for Transformative Work Design $498,841 for a research into the wellbeing and mental health impact of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) arrangements on workers.

The announcement was made by Mental Health Minister Roger Cook on Wednesday as part of the 50th annual Mental Health Week to encourage more people to turn their attention to mental health awareness and contribute to the study.

“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,” said Mr. Cook.

The research will evaluate the range of workplace factors that contribute to mental health issues in FIFO workers and identify positive strategies that can be used by people in the FIFO environment.

“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,” said Mr. Cook.

“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.

“The McGowan Labor Government welcomes insightful wellbeing and mental health research, and initiatives like these. That’s why we are investing $61.7 million, over the next four years, to boost mental health prevention and community and treatment services to better support WA communities.”

A reference group including the Mental Health Commission, family representatives, employee and employer representatives, and mental health, alcohol and other drug peak bodies will be guiding the project.

The research will be conducted in response to recommendations from the Education and Health Standing Committee on FIFO mental health and concerns raised by families.

In September, the state government announced a new partnership with The University of Western Australia which saw $500,000 invested into UWA’s Centre for Transformative Work Design for the development of a comprehensive set of mental health support resources for WA workplaces.

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