Help-seeking for mental health problems by employees te the Australian Mining Industry, BMC Health Services Research, Total Text

Table of Contents

This article has Open Peer Review reports available.

  • Ross J. Tynan 1, Two, 6Email author ,
  • Robyn Considine Trio ,
  • Jane L. Rich Trio, Four ,
  • Jaelea Skehan 1 ,
  • John Wiggers Five ,
  • Terry J. Lewin 6 ,
  • Carole James Four, 8 ,
  • Kerry Inder 7, 9 ,
  • Amanda L. Baker 6 ,
  • Frances Kay-Lambkin Two, 6 ,
  • David Perkins Four, 6 and
  • Brian J. Kelly Trio, 6

© The Author(s). 2016

Accepted: 14 September 2016

Published: 21 September 2016

Abstract

Background

The current examine examined help-seeking behavior for mental health problems of employees ter the mining industry.

Methods

The research involved a paper-based survey finished by a cross-section of employees from eight coalmine sites. The research aimed to investigate the frequency of voeling with professional and non-professional sources of support, and to determine the socio-demographic and workplace factors associated.

Results

A total of 1,457 employees participated, of which, 46.6 % of participants reported voeling with support to discuss their own mental health within the preceding 12 months. Hierarchical logistic regression exposed a significant contribution of workplace variables, with job security and satisfaction with work significantly associated with help-seeking behavior.

Conclusions

The results provide an insight into the help-seeking behaviour of mining employees, providing useful information to guide mental health workplace program development for the mining industry, and male-dominated industry more broadly.

Keywords

Background

Mental illnesses are a leading cause of disability, and consequently represent a substantial economic and societal cargo, accounting for 7.Four % of the global cargo of disease [ 1 ], and 13 % of the national cargo of disease te Australia [ Two ]. Treatments for mental illness are effective [ Three ], however, international evidence suggests that help-seeking is low [ Trio – Five ]. Te the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being (NSMHWB), only 34.9 % of individuals who met diagnostic criteria for an affective, anxiety, or substance-use disorder reported consulting with a professional service te the preceding 12 months [ 6 ]. Efforts to understand why service utilization is low and how to overcome limitations of the current health system to provide effective mental health care are an international imperative [ Four ].

Previous research has demonstrated a number of socio-demographic correlates of professional mental health service use. Internationally, those who use professional services for mental health problems are significantly more likely to be female [ Four – 8 ], middle-aged [ Four – 6 , 8 ], have a higher level of education [ Four , Five ] and be unmarried [ Four , Five ]. Stigmatizing attitudes, including community, workplace and private stigma have also previously bot associated with a reduction te service uptake [ 9 ]. While this evidence is compelling, national population statistics may not necessarily reflect the behaviour of smaller groups, such spil workplaces, where little is known about how specific workplace and employment characteristics influence help seeking.

Te the Australian coal mining industry, mental health has emerged spil a priority for workplace health and safety [ Ten ]. The Working Well: Mental Health and Mining examine highlighted that the self-reported psychological distress of coal-miners is higher than an employed, age and gender matched sample from the NSMHWB, which may indicate that miners have a greater need for accessing professional mental health services. While little is known about the service use of coalmine employees, there are a number of employment characteristics within the mining industry that may influence help seeking. The Australian mining industry is often characterized spil male-dominated, which, ter addition to lowering the likelihood of treatment seeking relative to females, may be amplified by a stoic ‘macho culture’, presenting an extra barrier to seeking support [ 11 , 12 ].

There are a number of extra challenges associated with the mining industry that may influence on service use. Mines are often located te rural or remote regions of Australia, where the availability of professional mental health services is limited [ 13 , 14 ], with enlargening remoteness generally linked with greater challenge ter accessing services [ 15 ]. Mines that operate under a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) rangschikking, whereby staff are required to stay te mine webpagina provided accommodation for the duration of their roster, tend to be even more remote geographically isolated areas. Thesis challenges are compounded by displacement from social networks including both friends and family, long rosters, shift work, and a very requiring role. Mining employees, thus, may be more susceptible to higher rates of work, family, and health stress [ Ten ]. However, the association inbetween the aforementioned characteristics of working ter the industry and voeling with both professional and non-professional sources of support is unknown.

Within this setting, the current explore aimed to investigate if, and from whom, employees of the Australian coal mining industry seek help for their own mental health problems. Factors associated with help-seeking behavior are also examined, including employee socio-demographic characteristics, workplace factors and attitudes, and the perception of stigma. Ultimately, the explore set out to assess the relationship inbetween predicted need for professional services and actual professional service utilization.

Methods

This research wasgoed approved by the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee [H-2013-0135].

Sample

This cross-sectional explore used a quota sampling method with the aim of recruiting a representative sample of employees across the Australian coalmining industry. The treatment adopted a number of stratification variables to ensure coverage of coal mining locations (Fresh South Wales [NSW] and Queensland [QLD], the two primary coal producing states ter Australia), mine type (underground or open-cut), and the two primary types of employee commute arrangements (daily commute or long distance commute [DIDO/FIFO]).

Mine recruitment

Mining companies were approached to provide consent at the company level, which primarily occurred through voeling with occupational health and safety managers, with all companies contacted consenting to participate. After company consent, the research team liaised with managers from individual mine sites, and provided an overview of the project to mine webpagina management and occupational health and safety staff, and requested consent at the mine management level. Once consent wasgoed received from management, the research team met with key delegates from each mine webpagina to organize the logistics of gegevens collection.

Participant recruitment and gegevens collection

The gegevens collection protocol wasgoed designed to minimize disruption to production, and to accommodate unique logistical considerations of each webpagina. Where possible, the gegevens collection occurred spil a component of the sites’ routine training days, which are rostered days assigned for professional development. At sites where training days were unavailable or infrequent, gegevens collection occurred while participants were on shift or during their daily pre-shift meetings. All accessible staff onsite during the specific webpagina visit for gegevens collection were invited to participate.

Two weeks prior to gegevens collection, each participating webpagina wasgoed sent a set of examine information materials (e.g. PowerPoint glides, posters/flyers) to be displayed ter employee common areas to promote awareness of the project. The gegevens collection process involved a research team member visiting the webpagina, providing a schrijven presentation that talent an overview of the research, spil well spil a written information statement outlining the research purpose. This material stated that the research wasgoed voluntary, confidential, and that participants were free to withdraw at any time. Participation involved completing a schrijven paper-based survey that took an average of 15 minteken to finish, come back of a ended survey wasgoed considered implied consent. Participants were asked to provide a self-generated code (consisting of initials and day/month of birth), to permit potential cross-linkage with future surveys. While it wasgoed not anticipated that the content of the survey would cause distress, all participants were provided with a pocket size information card that contained the voeling details of a number of different free-to-access support services.

The survey wasgoed conducted inbetween December 2013 and March 2015.

Measures

The survey muziekinstrument used for gegevens collection is provided te Extra opstopping 1 .

Outcome variables

Help-seeking: The type and frequency of self-reported professional and non-professional contacts for mental health problems

Service utilization and the type of help received were measured using items from the NSMHWB [ 16 , 17 ]. Participants were given a list of eight professional (e.g. general practitioner, psychologist) and three non-professional (e.g. friend or family member) sources of support, and asked: “In the past 12 months, how many times have you consulted with the following support people to discuss your own mental health problems? (Note: this can include stress, anxiety, depression or worries about drank or drugs)”. Frequency of voeling within the preceding 12 months wasgoed measured on a 6-point scale including: 0 times, 1–2 times, 3–5 times, 6–10 times, 11–15 times, and 16+ times, which were assigned the weights of 0, 1.Five, Four, 8, 13, and Eighteen contacts respectively. Participants who reported any voeling within the past 12 months were asked to indicate the specific type of help they sought from a list of items covering six domains, including: (1) information, (Two) medication, (Trio) counseling, (Four) social intervention, (Five) abilities training, and/or (6) other.

Factors associated with contacting professional and non-professional sources of support

To determine factors associated with help seeking, a series of conceptually related variables were grouped into three separate categories (socio-demographic, predicted need for mental health services, and workplace factors and attitudes). This categorization reflected a theoretical rente te determining the independent effect of workplace factors and attitudes on the likelihood of contacting professional or non-professional sources of support, after controlling for the participant’s socio-demographic characteristics and predicted need for professional mental health services.

Socio-demographic characteristics

Socio-demographic information collected included the participant’s age, gender, relationship/marital status, highest level of education and whether the participant had any dependent children. The number of, and frequency of voeling with social connections, and formal and informal group membership wasgoed also determined using the Social Network Index [ Legitimate ], with participants scored on a 4-point scale (low, medium, medium-high, high).

Predicted need for mental health services

To derive an estimate of the need for professional mental health services, the current probe used an adapted form of the Predicted Service Need Index (PSNI) [ 7 , Nineteen ]. The PSNI takes into account a combination of the participant’s current symptomatology, potential effects from chronic health conditions, and current unhealthy behaviors, which may all reflect an enhanced need for professional mental health services. Specifically, the PSNI is an aggregate score of participants responses across five health status measures, including: the Kessler-10 (K-10) [ 20 ]: a measure of current psychological distress, their self-perceived overall rating of physical and mental health: both assessed using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from ‘poor’ to ‘excellent’, the Drank Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) [ 21 ]: a measure of problematic wijngeest use, and their current smoking status: a single voorwerp that measured whether the participant presently smoked cigarettes daily. Each participant received a PSNI score by adding previously determined oprecht weights (see Perkins et ofschoon. [ Nineteen ]) for each of the five health status measures, providing a possible PSNI score range from 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating an enhanced predicted need for professional mental health services. Te the current examine, PSNI scores were used both spil a dimensional measure (i.e., ordinary index of enhancing predicted need) and a categorical measure, using three previously described [ 7 , Nineteen ] categories of need for professional services: low (0–1), medium (2–5), and high (6–9).

Workplace factors and attitudes

The majority of questions regarding workplace factors were measured using single-item questions including: years working te the mining industry, mine type, commute type, employment category, employee type, shift type, and shift length. The proportion of time at work wasgoed also measured based on the participant’s most typical roster, and wasgoed calculated by dividing the number of consecutive days at work by the sum of the consecutive days at huis plus the number of consecutive days at work.

Satisfaction with work: An average of the responses given to seven items scored on a 5-point scale ranging from ‘very dissatisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’. Items include satisfaction with: Your usual take huis pay, Your work prospects, The people you work with, Physical work conditions, The way your section is run, The way your abilities are used, and The rente and skill involved ter your job.

Work ter mining because I love the work, and the roster suits my family: Average response to two items scored on a 5-point scale ranging from 1: ‘strongly disagree’ to Five: ‘strongly agree’. Items include: I work te coal because I love the work, the roster schedule suits mij and my family.

Perception of mine’s commitment to mental health: Average response to five items scored on a 5-point scale ranging from 1: ‘strongly disagree’ to Five: ‘strongly agree’. Items include: This mine would be nimble ter suggesting work adjustments to someone with a mental health problem, This mine provides education and training to supervisors and managers about mental health, The managers at this mine have a good understanding of mental health issues, The mine provides education to employees about mental health, Our workplace policies support the mental health of mine employees.

Workplace attitudes were also assessed using two single-item questions that measured the concern participants had about losing their job and the perception of stigma te the workplace. Stigma wasgoed measured by participants self-reporting whether they felt an employee experiencing mental illness would be ‘treated poorly ter the workplace if people found out about it’. Perceived stigma wasgoed measured on a five-point scale ranging from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’, with responses categorized spil: low stigma (strongly disagree or disagree), hesitant (uncertain), or high stigma (agree or strongly agree).

Gegevens analysis

Gegevens were analysed using conventional statistical packages, Microsoft Excel (Version 14) and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS version 22, Armonk, NY, USA). Descriptive analysis wasgoed used to characterise the socio-demographic and health status of participants. The initial analysis also included a description of voeling patterns (both professional and non-professional) associated with discussions about participants’ own mental health within the last 12 months, including the proportion of people who contacted each source of support and the frequency of voeling. To facilitate discussion, the types of voeling are ranked ter order of mean PSNI scores.

The derivation of subscale scores for several of the workplace attitude questions (i.e. satisfaction with work, perceived commitment of mine to the mental health of employees, and the primary reasons for working te mining) wasgoed guided by preliminary principal components analyses, based on sets of questions contributing to factors with an eigenvalue above 1.00.

To explore the factors associated with professional and non-professional contacts within the preceding 12 months, wij used two hierarchical logistic regression models, with a predetermined order of entry for all associative variables. To examine the unadjusted contributions, te monster one, all socio-demographic variables were at the same time entered at step one, followed by each of the workplace and employment characteristics, which were added separately at step two. For monster two, all socio-demographic variables were at the same time entered at step one, followed by the PSNI category at step Two, and all workplace and employment characteristics added at the same time at step Three. For all analyses, wij report Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) with 99 % confidence intervals (CI).

Spil a partial control for the number of statistical tests, the threshold for statistical significance wasgoed set at p <, 0.01 for all analyses.

Results

Participating mines

Eight of the ten mine sites approached agreed to participate ter the examine. The remaining two mines could not allocate sufficient time for gegevens collection within the gegevens collection period. The eight participating sites contained a representative cross-section of the Australian coal mining industry, with four mining companies, and inclusion of sites from both NSW (five sites) and QLD (three sites), a combination of open cut (three sites) and underground (five sites) mining, spil well spil mines that operated primarily with daily commute (five sites) and long distance commute (three sites) workforces.

Sample characteristics

Overall, 1,457 employees across the eight sites ended the survey. Five of the eight sites participated spil part of their scheduled training days. Across thesis five sites, 929 of the 982 employees who attended training days agreed to participate, and returned a ended survey (Average response rate: 95 %, range 92–98 %). At the sites where gegevens collection on training days wasgoed not possible, participants were approached at pre-shift meetings. Te the case of the latter, an estimate of the participation rate wasgoed determined by calculating the number of surveys finished by the number of current mine employees. Across thesis three sites Two,386 staff were presently employed, and 528 ended the survey (Average participation rate 22 %, range 18–30 %).

Sample characteristics of the Working Well: Mental Health and Mining Explore baseline survey participants (n = 1,399) a

A regular shift

A rotating shift

Not Married or den facto

Married and/or den facto

Year Ten or less

Administration or Other

Years working te Mining

Two years or less

More than Ten years

a 58 participants were excluded with incomplete Predicted Service Need Index (PSNI) scores. However, excluded participants did not significantly differ from respondents who finished all components of the PSNI on any of the tabled variables

The predicted service need index (PSNI)

Health status measures used to calculate the Predicted Service Need Index (PSNI) (n = 1,399)

Current Health Status

Overall mental health

Good to excellent

Overall physical health

Good to excellent

Professional and non-professional contacts for mental health problems

Professional and non-professional contacts for mental health problems ter the preceding 12 months (n = 1,399)

Number of times contacted (for service users) Mean (SD)

PSNI (for service users) Mean (SD)

Drug and wijngeest counselor

Mental health nurse

Specialist doctor or surgeon

Friend or family

Any voeling (professional or non-professional)

The relationship inbetween PSNI and the type of support service contacted within the preceding 12 months

For those who reported professional service use within the preceding 12 months, the most common type of help received wasgoed medication (45.1 %), followed by counseling (44.Two %) and information about mental illness and its treatments (33.0 %). Fewer participants reported receiving abilities training (27.1 %), social intervention (Ten.0 %) or ‘other’ types of help (24.8 %).

Factors associated with professional and non-professional help seeking for mental health problems

Relationship inbetween socio-demographic characteristics and self-reported voeling with professional and non-professional sources of support to discuss own mental health within the last 12 months (n = 1,319)

Professional service voeling

Year Ten or less

Social Network Index

Note: Based on a series of hierarchical logistic regressions, te which all socio-demographic variables were entered at the same time at step 1 (Table Four ), followed by PSNI at step Two (Table Five ) and workplace and employment factors at step Three (Extra opstopping Two : Table S6): * p <, 0.01, **p <, 0.001. Only participants with a accomplish set of socio-demographic and workplace characteristics were included. AOR adjusted odds ratio, CI confidence interval

Aggregate current health service needs and reported professional and non-professional contacts for mental health problems (n = 1,319)

Professional service voeling

Note: Based on a series of hierarchical logistic regressions, ter which all socio-demographic variables were entered at the same time at step 1 (Table Four ), followed by PSNI at step Two (Table Five ) and workplace and employment factors at step Trio (Extra verkeersopstopping Two : Table S6): * p <, 0.01, **p <, 0.001. Only participants with a accomplish set of socio-demographic and workplace characteristics were included. AOR adjusted odds ratio, CI confidence interval

Spil shown te Table S6 (see Extra verkeersopstopping Two ), there wasgoed a significant association inbetween job security and help seeking, with those who were worried about losing their job significantly more likely to report voeling with both professional and non-professional sources of support within the preceding 12 months. Table S6 (Extra verkeersopstopping Two ) also shows that satisfaction with work wasgoed significantly associated with contacting professional, but not non-professional sources of support, with participants significantly less likely to report professional service use if they were sated with work.

Recruitment method

Differences inbetween recruitment methods were investigated using the same hierarchical regression specimen treatment, with the exception of type of mining and commute type, which were moved to the very first level given significant differences te the composition of the workforce for both open cut and underground mines. After controlling for type of mine and commute type, differences observed according to recruitment method included participants from the pre-shift sub-sample more likely to: work on a rotating shift, and be more worried about losing their job.

Discussion

This probe is the very first to assess the influence of working te the Australian coal mining industry on help-seeking behaviour for mental health related problems. Encouragingly, the gegevens indicated that many employees self-reported discussing their own mental health with a diversity of professional and non-professional sources of support te the preceding 12 months. When examining the predicted need for professional service use, there wasgoed a clear dose–response effect, with those who scored high on the predicted service need index significantly more likely to report voeling with both professional and non-professional support. The results provide an insight into the help-seeking behaviour of Australian coal miners, providing useful information to guide mental health program development for the Australian mining industry, and male-dominated industry more broadly.

Despite having a predominantly masculine sample, the overall proportion of participants who reported professional service use wasgoed almost dual the national estimate from the NSMHWB (11.9 %) [ 6 ], and also higher than other international population based estimates ter developed countries which have ranged from Five.6 % te Japan to 17.9 % te the USA [ Four ]. Interestingly, the gegevens were closely aligned to that found ter research investigating the professional service use ter rural and remote regions of Australia (17 %) [ Nineteen ], and another male-dominated industry te the Australian Defence Force (17.9 %) [ 22 ]. It is unclear why service utilization wasgoed higher than reported previously. One possibility is that the high proportion of service use reflected a greater need for accessing services, which is supported by the levels of psychological distress observed te the current investigate being significantly higher than that observed ter the NSMHWB [ 23 ].

Consistent with much of the population-based research, the GP wasgoed the most common source of support contacted, highlighting the importance of primary health care for the treatment of mental health problems. Primary health care is the foundation for high-quality mental health care, with the GP having the potential to identify and treat mental health problems, and refer to specialist mental health services for ongoing treatment when necessary [ 24 ]. Interestingly, while the proportion of participants who reported accessing treatment from the GP were more than dual the proportion reported ter the Australian community previously [ 6 ], the proportion of people who contacted more specialist mental health services (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist) wasgoed similar. This highlights the importance of primary health care, particularly ter rural and remote regions where mines are typically located, and may reflect the limited availability of more specialist services ter thesis areas.

While the high proportion of employees reporting professional service voeling is encouraging, approximately 50 % of those who had cumulative PSNI scores indicative of high level service need had not consulted any professional service ter the preceding 12 months. Of note, Legal % of thesis participants reported voeling with non-professional sources of support exclusively. It is possible that this reflects a preference for self-management strategies for mental health problems rather than formal service use, which previous research has shown is common [ 8 ], particularly te a “stoic” male-dominated group. It is also significant to consider that the prevalence of mental disorders may not be a reliable indicator of perceived service need [ 25 ], however, this gegevens would seem to suggest that a considerable proportion of employees who received scores placing them ter the high PSNI category may get some benefit from accessing professional treatment.

Almost twice the number of participants indicated that they had made voeling with non-professional sources of support te the preceding 12 months, when compared to professional services, with friends and family members the most commonly reported source of voeling. This result indicates that a significant proportion sought the help of non-professional contacts exclusively, which may indicate further support for the preference for self-management strategies, ter favour of professional service use. It also provides some useful insight into coal miners’ help-seeking behaviour, which may provide some useful guidance for the development of strategies to improve the mental health of coal mine employees. The clear preference for non-professional sources may indicate that providing training to friends and family members on how to appropriately discuss mental health issues, with specific training on how to identify mental health problems, and how to connect people with support when necessary may make thesis conversations more effective.

Factors associated with contacting professional and non-professional sources of support

Socio-demographic factors

Most of the socio-demographic correlates of help seeking were consistent with those reported te population-based studies [ Four – 6 ], with female participants and those who were divorced, separated or widowed significantly more likely to report professional service use. Education wasgoed significantly associated with professional service use, but te the opposite direction to reported previously [ Four , Five ], with trade qualified employees significantly less likely to report professional service use than those with year Ten education or less. Interestingly, there wasgoed a trend towards enlargened non-professional service use within this subgroup, albeit a non-significant trend, which may further suggest a preference for self-management strategies within this subgroup.

Predicted service need

Consistent with previous reports [ 6 , 7 , Nineteen ], this examine found a significant dose–response relationship inbetween predicted need for professional services and actual professional service use, indicating that those identified spil high need were significantly more likely to report professional service use te the preceding 12 months.

Workplace factors and attitudes

After controlling for socio-demographics and predicted need for services, workplace factors such spil the type of mine, commute type, or roster patterns, were not significantly associated with help seeking. Greater concerns about job security and dissatisfaction with the workplace were associated with an enlargened likelihood of accessing professional services, and may suggest that they acted spil extra stressors. It is significant to consider the results within the current setting of the Australian mining industry, spil the probe wasgoed conducted ter a time of significant economic constraints, with many mines reviewing operations, and enforcing involuntary redundancies. While this setting needs to be accounted for te interpreting the results, it also provides greater impetus to address the stressors and resultant mental health problems within the industry.

One of the other primary attitudes assessed wasgoed the perception of stigma te the workplace. Stigma is often cited spil one of the major barriers to accessing treatment for mental health problems, based on the assumption that fear of stigma may inhibit individuals with mental health problems from seeking help [ 26 – 28 ]. However, te population-based studies, the influence of stigma has bot mixed, with some reporting that the perception of stigma reduces help seeking [ 26 , 29 , 30 ], whereas others have found no effect [ 27 , 28 , 31 ]. Te the current investigate, wij found an unadjusted relationship inbetween the perception of stigma ter the workplace and voeling with a professional service (specimen 1, Extra verkeersopstopping Two : Table S6), however, this effect disappeared ter the multivariate analysis (monster Two). Contrary to expectations, thesis results suggest that the perception of stigma did not have a significant influence on help-seeking behaviour. One caveat to this finding is that the majority of those who reported professional service use had contacted a GP, which may not necessarily carry the stigma of more specialized mental services [ 31 ].

Limitations

Firstly, the current research uses a cross-sectional vormgeving, which does not permit causal inferences to be made.

The gegevens analysed ter this investigate reflects self-report gegevens collected from Australian coal miners. While it is not anticipated that the results were influenced by any form of bias, the gegevens does rely on participants’ accurate recall of professional and non-professional contacts within the preceding 12 months. Given the high proportion of participants who disclosed voeling, considerably higher than reported previously, it is unlikely that issues regarding recall influenced the results.

Another significant consideration involved differences te recruitment method inbetween sites. The probe used two primary gegevens collection methods, with gegevens collected either (1) during webpagina training days, or (Two) during pre-shift meetings. Spil reported, there wasgoed considerable variation te the response rate by recruitment method. Further analysis demonstrated that while most factors were not significantly associated with recruitment method, there wasgoed a significant association inbetween recruitment method and (1) work schedule and (Two) concern about losing job. Spil concern about losing job wasgoed also associated with help seeking, it is unknown to what extent recruitment method affected this association. However, there were no statistically significant differences te the proportion of participants who reported seeking professional or non-professional help inbetween the two recruitment methods. Spil further evidence to support of the representativeness of the sample, wij found a strong correlation inbetween the age, gender and employment category profile for each of the mines that participated te the examine with state based employment gegevens.

Another significant consideration is the commute distance to the mines. The investigate did not find any significant association inbetween those who worked ter FIFO or DIDO operations compared to those who are employed locally. One caveat to this finding is that the long distance commute mines involved ter the current explore were primarily DIDO operations, with most of the participants reporting a commute time of less than three hours. Therefore, the gegevens may not necessarily reflect those who work ter FIFO operations, or mines that involve a longer distance commute. Importantly, those that are FIFO or have longer distance commute times are potentially more remote, geographically isolated sites, and therefore have greater limitations on the availability of services. Future research is warranted to determine the extent to which longer distance commute times influence help seeking behaviour.

Conclusions

With a predominantly masculine workforce, the mining sector may provide unique opportunities for workplace mental health promotion to increase awareness and overcome barriers to help seeking [ Ten ]. Workplaces offerande a unique setting to produce mental health promotion and mental illness prevention interventions because they can potentially reach many adults, and incorporate or modify systems and social networks that may enhance or harm a person’s mental health [ 32 , 33 ]. Understanding the individual (socio-demographic), structural (such spil rosters or webpagina location) or attitudinal barriers (such spil mental illness stigma) that facilitate or inhibit a person from seeking support for mental health problems is significant to guide the development of workplace mental health programs. Understanding the contributions of different barriers to mental health service use is vital to ensure that efforts to optimise service use are appropriately directed.

The findings of this research provide useful insights into the help-seeking behaviour of Australian coal miners, and male-dominated industry more broadly. The results demonstrate that a considerable proportion of coal miners are actively engaged te activities to improve their mental health, with high self-reported use of both professional and non-professional sources of support. The strong preference for non-professional sources of support observed te the current probe is a key finding that may suggest that development of mental health programs providing education to friends and family members may be of some benefit.

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