Minding minds in mining:

This article will give you an insight on why working away can be more of a challenge and will provide you with some tips on how to reduce mental health issues in mining.

Suicides are 70% higher than the national average, why?
Depression/anxiety and self-sabotage is more common in this environment, why?

Our core needs are more of a challenge to meet in such environment.

Which are the feelings of significance and appreciation, due to the increasing size in numbers at each camp, we too often feel like a number. In some cases invisible and unnoticed.

Ensure you are feeling significant in a positive way, by studying or learning something new. Make others feel valued more often and show your appreciation towards work mates.

Variety in our job role, if we are not stimulated and life becomes simple and easy then nervousness sets in very quickly; often many roles in the mining industry are monotonous and mentally exhausting. We begin to lose motivation and confidence in ourselves.

Mix it up a little, ask to swap a job role with someone or work more as a team. Challenge yourself daily to keep yourself motivated. Enquire about how to work up in the chain.

As we are disconnected from the outside world, we too begin to automatically disconnect ourselves from loved ones and, one of our biggest human needs is to feel love and connection.

Practice connecting more with the people you work with, after all you do spend more time with them than anyone else. Connect with people from home more while away, a phone call will eliminate the feeling of loneliness.

The opportunity for growth is important to develop and learn new skills and knowledge for our own personal satisfaction; if we are not green and growing we are ripe and rotting.

Be sure to educate yourself, learn something new every day. Study a new subject, keep your mind active. It’s just as important to exercise mentally as it is physically. We should care for our mind as much as we do our hygiene, it should be part of taking care of ourselves daily.

As we have little involvement with the community and cannot contribute as much as we would like our core need of contribution is not reached and we begin to feel even more isolated than we already are.

Ensure you are contributing in some way while away. It can be from donating money to charity or helping someone out by contributing your time.

In such an environment small issues are intensified and are easily manifested often resulting to frustration, stress and worry. When we are not at ease we are at dis-ease, which if left untreated then becomes a disease.

Be aware of these feelings and what you are telling yourself. Awareness means we can have more control over the situation. Avoid your mind from hula hooping around, as 9/10 things don’t happen anyway and 95% of our thoughts are the same as the day before.

Focus on the moment to avoid feeling stressed, frustrated or worried.

If our core needs are not met it often leads to self-sabotage, drug and alcohol abuse causing physical and mental illness sometimes even suicide.

Another contributing factor is the need to be heard. If no one is listening or acknowledges any behavioural changes, then it is likely to come out in a non-resourceful way, causing harm to ourselves or others.

Speak up about any concerns you may have, a problem shared is a problem halved. Acknowledge any behaviour changes in work mates and show concern for people who don’t seem themselves.

Certainty is another reason why we do what we do. The need for security, safety and comfort brings us to why we find it a challenge to change to a more stimulating role, as mining is our new comfort zone and what becomes the new ‘normal’.

Are you sitting too comfortably? Step outside your comfort zone and explore other opportunities.

The only thing you need to be certain of is yourself. Have FAITH in yourself.

Men are more reluctant to seek help, because women express and men repress, it is important to encourage men to speak out and eliminate the stigma, especially in such a male dominated environment.

Another main concern is that we are so focused on saving for the future or paying off debts from the past, that we forget to live in the present. People who live in the past are more at risk of depression and people who live for the future are likely to develop anxiety.

Depression is anger turned inwards from past events; anxiety is worrying about what might happen in future events.

It is impossible to feel depressed or anxious when we are focused in the present, try it and notice how at peace you feel. Look around you and count your gratitude. Don’t forget to smile at how lucky you are.

It is fundamental, especially in this situation that we are educated on why we do what we do and how to fill our needs.
If only we were taught this in schools or our inductions.

You do what you do to meet a need. Whatever need you wish to experience more of, give it.

Find things which are productive and positive to fill your core needs.

Keys to success:
Challenge yourself
Fill your needs in a positive way
Focus on the moment

Author's Bio: 

Alicia is a Personal Development Coach, NLP Practitioner, Massage Therapist and Reiki Practitioner.

She is an expert in assisting people in developing a healthier mind-set.

With over three years experience in the mining industry she understands the challenges of working in such environment and how it can have an impact on workers and their families.

Mining culture will not change, however, we can change our mindsets.

She is passionate about prevention of mental health issues and knows just how important it is to have awareness and take conscious control of our thoughts.

Her mission is to support and motivate people in the mining industry.