What’s your “help-seeking” mentality?
Thousands of Australian families have been impacted by fly in fly out (FIFO), drive in drive out (DIDO) and bus in bus out (BIBO) work for at least twenty five years now. This lifestyle involves over 100,000 Australian workers travelling to non-residential based gas, oil and mining operations to work ten to fourteen hour shifts for two to six weeks at a time. Whilst the financial gains from this type of work are substantial, the undesirable impact this type of work is having on individuals, couples, and family units is becoming hard to ignore.
A 2013 Federal Inquiry concluded there is widespread concern for the health implications of FIFO work. The research commissioned this year by Lifeline WA (2013) makes a contribution toward knowledge about FIFO, specifically in relation to the mental health of FIFO workers.
A key finding being one of the greatest barriers is an adverse “help-seeking” mentality. That is, the stigma associated with asking for help from the Counselling or Mental Health industry. Furthermore,
It’s not ALL bad! Here’s the UPSIDE:
- Financial rewards.
- Live anywhere.
- Extended time off.
- Changing jobs is easier with minimal disruption to the family and home life.
- Quality time during time off to be with family (especially children).
- Easier to schedule meetings/appointments during business hours when at home.
- Travel to new locations for jobs.
- Meet new people.
- Clear separation between personal and work life.
- Opportunity to study on-site.
- Avoid the rut of standard 9-5 positions.
- Maintain regular exercise on the job.
- Access to healthy food options on-site.
- Accumulate frequent flyer points that can be used on rostered time off.
However, FIFO Work can Impact Families in these ways:
Ways FIFO Work Impacts Individuals.
Science Network (2012) also revealed binge drinking and/or recreational drug use and poor diet with subsequent obesity is a common feature of the FIFO lifestyle.
This week marked World Suicide Prevention Day where “Beyond Blue” announced new support training initiatives in male dominated work places on the back of this information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
The Lifeline WA (2013) research suggested that issues might be addressed within pre-FIFO employment training addressing:·
Furthermore, FIFO workers were unlikely to access support services during times of personal stress. There is a clear need for ongoing support services to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and help-seeking. We need to increase mental health literacy, promote effective coping, self-efficacy and self-care.
If you are experiencing coping difficulties, or your relationships are starting to suffer as a result of fly in fly out or similar work, please contact Jo Wilson, TheConfidante on 0499991884 or email@example.com to further discuss your concerns. Personal face to face sessions are preferable however Skype, Iphone Facetime or telephone appointments are welcome.
In the meantime, enjoy our FIFO/DIDO/BIBO Support Series on Facebook commencing this month!
Have you LIKED? https://www.facebook.com/TheConfidanteCounselling
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.