OzHelp Foundation reaches workers at remote cattle stations
Over the past 16 years, the OzHelp Foundation has delivered workplace programs and support services targeting to ‘hard to reach’ men with a heightened risk of suicide.
This has been historically aimed at men predominately in the building, construction and mining industries and, in more recent years applied to other largely male-dominated and hard to reach industry settings in metropolitan, remote/regional locations.
More recently, OzHelp partnered with the Northern Territory Government and Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) to connect with workers across 15 of Australia’s most remote cattle stations to deliver targeted mental health and wellbeing support and services through a unique public-private partnership model.
The project and OzHelp has been nominated for an NT Men's Health Award.
Based on OzHelp’s proactive and holistic approach the program includes face-to-face wellbeing support, mental health awareness and suicide prevention training, along with a roll-out of OzHelp’s online Workplace Tune Up (WTU).
A pilot program was conducted in two phases six months apart. This enabled de-identified data to be collected at two points over time to determine changes that may be attributable to OzHelp’s interventions. This data also provided valuable information about service and resource gaps to inform targeted interventions for the planned program delivery to the entire CPC workforce.
The program aims to reduce the occurrence of specific risk factors including poor sleep and fatigue, unsafe alcohol consumption, domestic safety, coping with stress, bullying and discrimination and low levels of wellbeing.
Participants grow individual capability to seek help when it’s needed, and most importantly they’ll know where to find it. This also extends to supporting others, such as mates or family members, who may be exhibiting signs of physical or mental distress.
"The CPC program is an example of how employers can be provided with information that they wouldn’t otherwise have, allowing decisions to be informed by an evidence base rather than what seems to be a good idea," says OzHelp.
The program connects strongly with the core of OzHelp’s purpose, which is to support Australia’s most hard-to-reach workers in industries with the highest risk of mental illness and suicide.
OzHelp Foundation emphasised the importance of building rapport with workers, through the delivery of informal introductory sessions such as Hard Hat Chats, on-site barbecues and then health screening tune-ups and follow up support over a number of weeks or months which are conducted on-site at workplaces.
“Our considered, tailored, flexible and non-clinical approach resonates well with men and is an excellent demonstration of successful engagement resulting in positive behaviour changes,” says OzHelp Foundation.
Over the past 12 months, OzHelp Foundation reports:
- A 233% increase in the number of individuals receiving follow up support and information after participating in OzHelp’s physical and mental health screening and training programs;
- A 47% increase in the physical and mental health literacy of program participants; and
In the last 12 months, OzHelp workplace programs have reached almost 40,000 participants, a significant new milestone for our organisation.
Join us to celebrate the NT Men’s Health Awards winners and publish the NT Men’s Health Report Card 2019 on 30 July 2019.
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