New app prioritises mental wellbeing, safety of miners

Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 | Supplied by: Minerals Council of Australia

Mental health is central to health and safety, as mental health problems can have an adverse impact on mining workers, their families and industry productivity. Australia’s minerals industry has taken steps to support the mental health and resilience of its workforce with the launch of the free MineWell mobile app, developed by miners for miners, to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. The launch of the MineWell app is a step forward in making help available to mining workers and their families who may be going through a tough time because of long hours, separation, isolation or financial stress. Many fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in longer shifts and more time away from family and friends.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and its partners have worked over many years to build industry understanding and capacity through the Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing industry guide. Australia’s mining industry is delivering a range of programs that promote mental health and wellbeing, prevent problems, and provide an effective and early response as part of an integrated approach within overall health and safety policy and practice. This includes MineWell, a preventative mental health and wellbeing app developed by the MCA and Utility Creative to provide prevention, intervention and education in mental health and wellbeing for Australian mining workers and their families.

The app includes a range of features, including personalised scheduling for shift workers to promote better sleep and alertness whilst on shift. The app also provides advice and exercises for improving sleep quality, staying active and positive, and staying well during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app features tools that help users take control through breathing, taking a reality check, managing emotions and releasing tension. A social connection tool also helps users schedule anniversaries, birthdays, catch-ups and other important events.

The app includes a crisis response tool for direct calls to MATES in Mining, Lifeline, Beyond Blue and other help services. A Budget Well feature helps users set a target budget and savings goals, while helping to track progress to reduce anxiety relating to financial management. MineWell was developed based on feedback from focus groups and user testing by Australian miners and is available free to all mine workers and their families through the Apple App Store and Google Play. All personal information provided by app users remains private, is only stored on the user’s device and cannot be accessed or gathered by others.

Image credit: © Access

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