Based in Laverton, the workers of this remote mine site could be forgiven for thinking that they’re located too far from mental health assistance – but nothing could be further from the truth. LIVIN Co-Founders Casey Lyons, Sam Webb and Psychologist Luke Foster spent a week providing 45-minute programs to each team on site, as part of their Vital Behaviours Play program. The program aims to boost employee well-being by encouraging and inspiring them to speak up when they need help, and worked to abolish the stigma often associated with mental illness.
LIVIN was co-founded by Lyons and Webb in September 2013, in honour of their close friend Dwayne Lally and other friends and family who took their own lives after suffering from mental illness.
The LIVIN team went underground and into the processing plant of the Granny Smith mine to spread the LIVIN message and talk to people on the job. The Psychologist from Gold Fields’ Employee Assistance Program, Jess, was also on site to speak to workers and raise the awareness of assistance and information available.
The LIVIN team mantra 'It Ain’t Weak to Speak’ opened the miners' eyes to what could be going on for them, their mates, or at home, and it gave them the confidence to have open conversations with each other on the subject.
“Great talk by the boys. Made all of us think about things from another perspective,” said Damien Hoes, Jumbo Operator.
“The LIVIN crew presentation was amazing, the delivery was to the point and relatable. Let’s talk about the issues that have touched us all and remove the stigma around the mental health issues that have affected us all in one way or another,” said Andrew Reynolds, Underground Shift Supervisor.
“Love what the guys at LIVIN are doing in trying to get the word across that it’s not weak to speak up about mental health. I got the chance to meet these top blokes at work the other day and I think it’s amazing what they’re doing,” said Maty Marks, Laboratory Operator.
The LIVIN team with Gold Fields worked hard to ensure everyone got to participate in the program, no matter their shift times, with a barbeque provided on the first day to over 70 employees and a fun and engaging quiz night held in the wet mess.
The visit to the Granny Smith mine site comes after a partnership was formed in May 2017 between the Gold Industry Group (GIG) and LIVIN to raise awareness of mental health and engage mine workers and communities. Last year, LIVIN member and community workshops were delivered in Perth and Kalgoorlie and a short film was produced with the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Youth Council interviewing LIVIN co-founders Webb and Lyons.
Following an audit by the Department of Mines and Petroleum into the psychosocial harms in the mining and resources industry, the most significant area identified for improvement was the level of consultation with the workforce on mental health and well-being strategies. The Gold Industry Group and LIVIN initially formed their partnership to demystify the stigma attached to mental illness and give mine workers the basic tools to seek help and to help others.
If you are suffering from a mental illness or know someone who is, contact your local GP or one of the many services listed on the LIVIN website.
If you are interested in hosting a LIVIN workshop in your workplace email firstname.lastname@example.org