Christmas is a great time to check R U OK?

Christmas can be a stressful time for many. As you prepare for the festivities, know that there are a number of options available to you if stress, fatigue or loneliness are affecting your mental wellbeing.

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is supporting projects to help assess and improve the mental health of those involved in fishing and aquaculture investing over $500,000 in the last few years in projects featuring a mental health component or focus.

At a time of year when most people only think seafood is what you buy for Christmas lunch, it is important to spare a thought for the fishers and farmers who put seafood on your table.

There are high rates of psychological distress within Australia’s seafood sector. In recognition of these findings, in the last year, the FRDC brought representatives of industry, research and management together with mental health service providers.

A recent national workshop discussed how to make a positive difference to the mental health of people in fisheries and aquaculture.

The impetus for the workshop came from the FRDC Board and the FRDC’s Seafood Safety and Welfare Initiative.

A good and free gift this Christmas is the one of friendship and seeing how your mates and colleagues are going.

“We are looking at a range of tactical industry-led activities such as support, training and education to address falling levels of mental health among members” Said Peter Horvat, FRDC’s Communication and Marketing manager “There is a need to better acknowledge the link between mental health and workplace health and safety”.

Recommendations were made during the workshop, especially around the need to provide support and training for mental health champions within the industry.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, contact lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. These first-response services can also be accessed via online chat and self-help tools at https://www.lifeline.org.au/ and https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

Other resources include:
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 80; Emergency: 000; Confidential Helpline: 1800 737 732; Mensline: 1300 78 99 78; Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277