The mental health and wellbeing of mining workers: Results and insights from Vale/USW’s Mining Mental Health Study (2014-2019).

2019

Michel Lariviere, Laurentian University

The following presentation describes the development of the mental health strategy with the integration of a large-scale survey and the results from the Mining Mental Health project at Vale Canada operations in Ontario.  This 5-year research effort included a large-scale survey of the mental health and wellbeing of mining workers (N= 2,224 participants) using several clinical instruments.  The research also integrated qualitative results from individual interviews and focus group meetings.  The study represents the first of its kind in the mining industry and results confirmed the need for such research.  The prevalence of mental health indicators such as depression, suicidality, PTSD, fatigue, burnout, and substance abuse will be discussed during this presentation as well as their correlates.  The predictors of workplace absenteeism and the barriers of a successful return to work will be illustrated.  The presentation intends to offer guidance on how to develop a mental health strategy from a systems perspective in the mining industry and involve multiple stakeholders in research of this kind.  Finally, it will provide suggestions on potential intervention strategies for mining worker health.
Keywords: Mental health, mining workers, wellbeing, absenteeism, predictors, survey, illness, depression, anxiety, fatigue.
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