COMMUNITY STRENGTH: CQU’s Professor Andrew Bridges says it is important for communities to stay together. This photo shows the first cars of the last shift at Norwich Park Mine leaving the mine site when it shut.
COMMUNITY STRENGTH: CQU’s Professor Andrew Bridges says it is important for communities to stay together. This photo shows the first cars of the last shift at Norwich Park Mine leaving the mine site when it shut. Tara Miko

Job losses threaten miners mental health status - Uni expert

WITH job losses in the mining industry creeping closer every day, mental health professionals are warning families to stay strong.

CQUniversity associate vice-chancellor and dean of human, health and social sciences Professor Andrew Bridges said it was vital to plan for any possible outcome.

"The thing first of all is to recognise in a situation like we are seeing in the resource industry in Central Queensland is for workers to not blame themselves for it," Prof Bridges said.

"Although it is difficult not to worry, that is not going to solve anything, it is going to make matters worse."

Prof Bridges said that while the employees' mental health was imperative to surviving tough times, that of spouses and family was equally as important.

"It is important that you can talk about the situation, that you aren't bottling it up," he said.

Mining Family Matters' Angie Willcocks posted a guide online to address suicide in mining families.

"I'm saddened to hear of a number of deaths by suicide in the mining community," Dr Willcocks wrote.

"... I know that nothing can seem helpful when you're feeling very low, but depression is treatable and help is helpful."

Prof Bridges said to focus on staying busy, and to stay active physically and in the community.



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