First mental health and wellbeing inspector appointed by DMP.
|Date:||Tuesday, 14 March 2017|
The Department of Mines and Petroleum has appointed its first Mental Health and Wellbeing Inspector of Mines. Amy Douglas-Martens is a registered psychologist and will work as a part of the mines inspectorate team.
Ms Douglas-Martens will assist with the development of safety and health protocols designed to protect mental health and wellbeing, as well as physical safety.
"I am excited about joining the inspection team and determining how we can work together, and with industry, to improve mental health and wellbeing across the resources sector," Ms Douglas-Martens said.
"There will definitely be challenges, but I am optimistic about the progress that is currently underway and feel privileged to be a part of it.
"Our long-term goal is not only to give operators and their employees the necessary tools to manage mental health and the associated risks, but also to increase their confidence in putting the tools into action."
Ms Douglas-Martens said that protecting mental health is at the top of many agendas however the saturation of information makes it difficult for operators to apply the learnings to their health and safety plans.
"One requirement is to make this information more accessible for the people who are developing workplace health and safety plans and support in deciding where to begin," Ms Douglas-Martens said.
"While our focus is on the mining and extractive resources industries directly, any good work that we do in this area, represents a real opportunity to impact positively on the mental health and lives of the broader WA community as well."
Along with the recruitment of Ms Douglas-Martens, Tyler van der Merwe, who specialises in mental health and wellbeing, joined the department in January this year, as one of the department’s new graduate officers.
"I’ve been given an opportunity to pursue my passion and turn it into a career," Ms van der Merwe said.
Currently working with the Resources Safety Division, Ms van der Merwe said that stigma appears to still be the number one barrier to people seeking help, and she looks forward to influencing change.
"As a graduate, it’s exciting to be working for the department during a period of change, there is lots of work happening behind the scenes to consolidate the information that is available to operators," Ms van der Merwe said.
State Mining Engineer and Director Mines Safety Andrew Chaplyn said Ms Douglas-Martens and Ms van der Merwe were important additions to the Resources Safety team.
"Amy and Tyler add significant capacity to Resources Safety to help us identify and address issues associated with mental health and wellbeing in the sector," Mr Chaplyn said.