Welcome to This FIFO Life.
This FIFO Life is a website for people who commute long distances for work and their families. It is packed with information to help make Fly In, Fly Out (FIFO), Drive In, Drive Out (DIDO) and Bus In, Bus Out (BIBO) work well.
The website features blogs with tips, links, articles and videos about a wide range of topics that support mental health. We also provide an extensive, searchable online directory of mental health services called Take 5 for Mental Health.
This FIFO Life was funded by the WA Mental Health Commission and written and developed by mental health professionals.
FIFO workers are the backbone of the mining and resource industry in WA. Their work creates wealth which benefits Australia. FIFO and long distance commuting is not well understood by those outside the mining and resource sector. The reality is that FIFO workers are men and women putting in long hours in often tough and remote places to provide a livelihood and security for themselves and their families.
This FIFO Life highlights the challenges of FIFO and the strength and resilience that is required to make it work well. The website is useful for:
- FIFO workers and their families and those considering FIFO work
- Managers, supervisors, HR and those responsible for health and safety who can incorporate This FIFO Life into mental health strategies, inductions, tool box talks and other awareness raising
- Anyone who works with the FIFO community, eg. in health services, schools and child care centres
Our tips and advice come from our own experience of FIFO and work in mental health, as well as our conversations and interviews with FIFO workers and families. People’s stories and experiences are the heart of This FIFO Life. We’d love to hear from you. You can find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.
WHY IS MENTAL HEALTH IMPORTANT?
There is a great deal of fear, shame and stigma around mental health issues. We need to look after ourselves to stay physically healthy by eating good food, exercising and sleeping well. If we broke a leg we would need medical attention and we may need to take time off to recover before returning to our normal routine.
However, if something happens in our life that affects our mental health (eg. a relationship ends or we lose our job), we may also be unable to function well. We may want to talk to someone, see a GP, or simply take some time off to get back to our usual self. A broken leg is obvious and easy to talk about, but why is it so much harder to talk about our mental health?
When we are struggling or having a tough time we may try to hide it. Often we think we are ‘weak’ or ‘a failure’ not to be coping and we may worry about what others will say. We are afraid we may be judged or there will be unpleasant consequences if we tell someone. So we struggle in silence and our mental health deteriorates. The tragic loss of life by suicide highlights the importance of learning about mental health and looking after our minds, as well as our bodies.
It is common to experience mental health issues; 1 in 5 will do so in any one year. About half of those people do not seek any help.
Every day in Australia, 6 people take their lives. Suicide has a huge impact on family, friends and workmates. Many of you may know this from experience. 1 in 7 will experience depression in their lifetime, and the World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030 depression will be the number one health concern.
We need to better understand mental health. Even if you don’t think this is relevant to you, it could be a lifesaver for one of your friends, family or workmates.
Mining and resource companies have a responsibility to provide mentally healthy workplaces. Some have excellent mental health initiatives and we want to share these on the This FIFO Life website.
Mental health is just as important as physical health and safety.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MENTALLY HEALTHY?
The World Health Organisation describes mental health as:
“a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her potential, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Put simply, this means:
- Feeling good about yourself, others and what you do
- Enjoying your life
- Feeling optimistic about the future
- Being interested in what’s going on around you and in the wider world
- Coping with the problems and even tragedies that life offers
- Having good friends & family to have fun with and to help when it gets tough
- Being active
- Having a sense of belonging
- Having a purpose in life This FIFO Life can help you to stay mentally healthy
This FIFO Life has information and links where you can learn more about mental health.
Visit Take 5 for Mental Health if you need support. You will find services that can help you and if you are really struggling there are 24 hour help lines to call.