FIFOs found more at risk for depression

FLY-IN, fly-out workers suffer from depression at more than twice the rate of the general Australian population according to research from Edith Cowan University.

Researchers surveyed 629 WA FIFO workers and found that 28 per cent showed significant signs of depression, compared to just 13 per cent of the general population.

FIFO workers also showed higher rates of stress and anxiety than the general population and non-FIFO mining workers who live in remote and rural areas.

Lead researcher Philippa Vojnovic said the data at hand highlighted the need for robust support systems to be in place at FIFO workplaces.

“There have been anecdotal reports that rates of suicide are higher among FIFO workers,” she said.

While there are no statistics available on the rates of suicide in the sector, depression is clearly a risk factor for suicide.”

Ms Vojnovic said the study identified certain groups in the FIFO sector particularly at risk of depression.

“Younger workers, aged between 18 and 29 were twice as likely to suffer from depression as their older colleagues.”