The Gold Industry Group (GIG)’s recent mental health tour with charity LIVIN is being hailed a success after more than 40 stigma-busting workshops were delivered across Australia, reaching over 1,200 gold industry workers, locals and students.
As a result of the resounding positive feedback from attendees, the tour has been extended with more workshops to be delivered at gold mine sites in June and a school tour is being explored for 2020.
LIVIN facilitators David Neagle and Alexa Towersey led the tour, sharing their powerful experiences that enabled attendees to relate and open up conversations. Their practical strategies empowered participants to know how to help others, while understanding their own options.
LIVIN ambassador Alexa Towersey was impressed by the level of support she witnessed from mine site and office supervisors, who recognised the importance of their team members’ mental health and ensured that those in attendance felt no judgement.
“Given that mental health concerns are often brushed over, it was incredible to be able to both witness and be part of an initiative that helps dispel the stigma that often prevents people seeking the help and support they deserve, “ Ms Towersey said.
“If we can encourage just one person to have a conversation that could save a life, then it's a success,” she continued.
A Newmont Goldcorp Australia employee who attended a workshop said LIVIN’s slogan, ‘it ain’t weak to speak’, was an effective message that resonated, and the workshop changed the way he approached difficult conversations and had already had a conversation with an employee who needed support.
He said mental health is often misunderstood and mistaken for other issues, with awareness and support networks key on mines sites due to the time spent away from family and friends.
The tour and mantra ‘it ain’t weak to speak’ has commenced a movement within gold mining to speak up.
Gold Industry Group Executive Officer Rebecca Johnston said the impact of the workshops was immeasurable and the feedback overwhelming.
“With stigma being the biggest barrier to talking about mental health challenges, these raw and real workshops certainly helped to break it down.
“A number of attendees opened up for the first time, others said it was the best workshop they’d attended in their long mining careers and many shared their stories and gratitude.
“There are many great service providers out there, but while a stigma exists in society, we can’t move forward,” Ms Johnston said.
“Education combined with connection is key, and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with LIVIN to spread the message it ain’t weak to speak and reach more workers and students around the country,” Ms Johnston concluded.
Proceeds from the GIG LIVIN tour will go towards the delivery of mental health education for young people in schools across the country via LIVIN’s school program.
The Gold Industry Group are also proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of LIVIN WA’s Unmasked Ball on 24 August 2019.
If you are suffering from a mental illness or know someone who is, contact your local GP for a mental health plan, use one of the many services listed on the LIVIN website or download our flyer.
The GIG LIVINWell Tour 2019
With seven participating member companies operating across Western Australia, this section of the national tour was split into two components.
LIVINWell workshops were delivered to regional mine sites, including to Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources’ Gruyere Joint Venture gold project, Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine, Newmont Goldcorp Australia’s Boddington gold mine, the KCGM Super Pit and The Perth Mint’s Refinery.
Further workshops were delivered to member offices in Perth city and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. These included for member companies Gold Fields, Newmont Goldcorp Australia, The Perth Mint, AngloGold Ashanti Australia and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
NORTHERN TERRITORY AND NEW SOUTH WALES
Following the Western Australian leg of the tour, Alexa and David travelled to the Northern Territory to deliver LIVINWell sessions at Newmont Goldcorp Australia’s Tanami underground gold mine.
Next stop was Sydney, where David delivered a workshop to employees at ABC Refinery.
COMMUNITY AND SCHOOLS
As part of their commitment to the tour, member champions offered LIVINWell sessions to local schools, thus two sessions were held at the Eastern Goldfields Community High School and Boddington District High School respectively, during the Goldfields and Perth sections of the WA tour.
Further spreading the message ‘it ain’t weak to speak’ into the local community, a free LIVINWell community session, sponsored by KCGM and Evolution Mining, was presented at the Kalgoorlie Golf Course to also give residents in the Goldfields region the opportunity to gain the confidence and knowledge to speak up, seek help and help others. With assistance from member volunteers and youth mental health service Headspace, the evening provided a wealth of information and lived experiences to better connect and empower all in attendance.
ADDITIONAL TOUR DATES
Due to the fantastic response from their participants, member companies have begun to lock in additional LIVINWell sessions to take place during the second half of 2019 – thus extending the tour!
Stay tuned as we continue to deliver mental health workshops to sites and communities across Australia.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Since establishing the partnership in 2017, the GIG and LIVIN have sought to connect, support and empower Australia’s gold industry workers, their families, friends and members of their local community to speak up, seek help and help others.
You can help us to break the stigma attached to mental illness by following the GIG and LIVIN on social media, sharing the message #itaintweaktospeak.