Miners bring mental health message to Toowoomba

8 November 2017

New Acland miners have teamed up with local mental health charity Toowoomba Clubhouse this morning to spread awareness about mental health beyond the mine site.

New Acland Mine is widely recognised for its work in employee health and wellness, with the site’s health and safety committee choosing to turn their focus outward during the month of November.

Committee member, and Senior Health and Safety Systems Coordinator Stewart Sherrington, said the committee was drawn to the Toowoomba Clubhouse after learning about their work with people recovering from mental illness.

"New Acland Mine has invested a lot of time and energy into educating our crews on health and wellness, including mental health and why it’s important to talk to your mates about how you’re feeling," Stewart said.

"Being comfortable talking about mental health is a message we want to share beyond our mine site and Toowoomba Clubhouse does terrific work in this space."

"This November our aim is to raise $10,000 for the Toowoomba Clubhouse and help spread the word about the important work they do in providing support for people recovering from mental illness."

This month New Acland Mine health and safety committee is hosting barbeques and selling raffle tickets with all proceeds going directly to the Toowoomba Clubhouse.

New Acland Mine also donated prize money from the 2017 Queensland Mining Industry Safety and Health Conference after taking out the award for the Best Health Program earlier this year.

"We’ve already kicked off our fundraising efforts and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses in Oakey and Toowoomba who have jumped on board."

Toowoomba Clubhouse Chief Executive Officer Deborah Bailey said the Clubhouse operated entirely on government funding and community donations.

"Our aim is to provide a restorative environment where our members can support each other through their recovery from mental illness," Deborah said.

"Toowoomba Clubhouse relies heavily on donations so we were thrilled when New Acland Mine approached us about getting involved in fundraising on our behalf."

"The mine is passionate about men’s health and mental health awareness more broadly so working with them has been great."

Toowoomba Clubhouse offers both men and women recovering from mental illness the opportunity to develop work skills in a social environment.

"Our aim is help our members building self-determination and a sense of mutual support," Deborah said.

"The Clubhouse has three main working units which develop skills in hospitality, gardening and administration."

"We also run an employment and education program, which assists our members accessing work and study opportunities."