Coal miners join fight against depression and suicide this Christmas

Coal miners join fight against depression and suicide this Christmas

Thousands of coal miners across New South Wales and Queensland will be trained to detect mental ill-health among their workmates following a partnership between Glencore Coal and MATES in Mining.

Through the partnership, MATES in Mining will deliver suicide awareness and prevention training and provide ongoing support to employees across Glencore Coal’s 16 operations.

While the training will equip the workforce with skills to use year-round, it is particularly timely given the festive season can be a challenging and isolating period for people struggling with mental health issues.

MATES in Mining General Manager, Suzanne Desailly said preventing suicide requires broad industry participation and support.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 44 in Australia, with males consistently accounting for approximately three-quarters of suicide deaths,” Suzanne said.

“With males making up more than 80% of the mining industry workforce, it’s important to ensure the sector has appropriate mental health support and training in place.

“Having companies such as Glencore Coal commit to training their workforce to confidently engage with a workmate who is struggling is such a vital part of reducing suicide within the industry.”

Director of Health, Safety and Training at Glencore Coal, Kylie Ah Wong said an important aspect of the training is its focus on proactively offering support to someone who may be struggling.

“We know that when someone is struggling with mental-health issues they’re unlikely to seek help,” Kylie said.

“This partnership is about training our workforce to identify behavioural changes in their mates so we can offer support when it’s needed most.

“Our employees look out for one another’s safety every shift, and that sense of camaraderie is deeply embedded in the mining industry. It makes sense to use that same approach when it comes to looking out for the mental health and wellbeing of our workmates.”


IMAGE | MATES in Mining training at Glencore Coal’s Ravensworth operation. 

Glencore Australia

Glencore is one of Australia’s largest coal producers with 16 operational mines across New South Wales and Queensland.

Headquartered in Sydney, we are a major Australian employer, with 18,000 people working across industries that include coal, copper, zinc, nickel, oil and agricultural products.

We have a strong safety and environmental performance and play an active role in the development of low emission coal technology.

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