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WA fly-in, fly-out workers have high rate of psychological distress: study

More than one-quarter of fly-in, fly-out workers from WA remote mining and construction sites report high psychological distress, according to a study.

The most frequently reported causes of stress were missing special events, relationship problems with partners, financial stress, shift rosters and social isolation.

The high rate — more than twice the rate of the general community — has prompted concerns that not enough is being done to protect the mental health of workers.

The study of more than 1100 FIFO workers, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found that 28 per cent had high or very high psychological distress, compared with 10.8 per cent for Australia overall.

In addition 22 per cent of workers rated their own mental health as poor or fair compared with 14 per cent of the general population.

Researchers from Edith Cowan University, Rural and Remote Health SA and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health, surveyed FIFO workers from 10 mining sites in WA and SA

W: Clare O’Leary