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Issues affecting mental health at a fly‐in‐fly‐out mine site: A subjective impact ratings approach

Turner, Richard and Rubin, Mark (2022) 'Issues affecting mental health at a fly‐in‐fly‐out mine site: A subjective impact ratings approach.', Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 52 (11). pp. 1070-1080.


Around a third of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers in Australia experience relatively high levels of psychological distress. Although a wide range of associated workplace stressors have been proposed in this context, it is unclear to what extent FIFO workers perceive these stressors as having an impact on their mental health. Identifying the issues that workers perceive as having the greatest impact on their mental health can guide the development of interventions in this area. Thus, this cross-sectional study sampled 742 FIFO workers from a large mine site in Australia to identify which workplace issues were perceived to have the greatest negative impact on their mental health. Of the 32 issues measured, we found that the top ranked issues related to a lack of control at work, lack of sleep, missing home, and poor physical health. These key issues also predicted poorer recent mental health. Based on these findings, several recommendations are put forward for future on-site wellness promotion programs, including (a) providing workers with more control and autonomy in their work roles, (b) improving sleep hygiene, (c) facilitating regular communication with family and loved ones, and (d) introducing exercise programs and supporting a healthy diet. This type of proactive consultative approach to mental health issues at FIFO sites cannot only mitigate the increased risk of poor mental health but also foster a more cohesive workplace culture.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Applied Social Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:25 July 2022
Date deposited:31 August 2022
Date of first online publication:12 August 2022
Date first made open access:31 August 2022

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