Depression and Suicide in Mining and Construction: Taking a Fresh look at Staff Wellbeing

Why are so many people suffering within the mining and construction industries today? While health and safety remains a huge priority within both fields of work, very little seems to be on offer for those men and women in genuine need of help. 

A person may receive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), or some form of counseling or psychotherapy, but often these approaches fail to deliver any lasting help for those in need. They may attempt the help an individual solve specific problems, but lack the capacity to show people how to live a full and satisfying life while continuing to work in such challenging conditions. For some the problem may be that these male dominated workplaces create an ethos of ‘just muscling through’ problems rather than admitting they don’t feel good. Yet federal government funded OzHelp, who do a lot of good work with suicide prevention, estimate suicide rates for both industries are 70% higher than the rest of the work force and indicate that this is due to drug and alcohol problems, bullying, abuse, and what they call: ‘a low emotional capacity to work through problems’. This suggests a far greater and growing problem that needs a positive and urgent solution. 

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Humans are not Warlike

By some old ancient inn,
We should have set us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
Thomas Hardy from: The Man he Killed

No-one in their right mind would go to war! Everyone knows that. It is a simple and beautiful fact. Most people would fight to protect their family, friends and loved ones, or even fight for a cause or a country, but this is different from being warlike and wanting to kill others. Yet, because we see war in the news all the time we start to innocently believe that the maxim that humans are warlike must be true.

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The Myth of Self Development

How many times a week do we hear people saying that they need to work on some aspect of themselves; fix something; make something better; grow as a person?

In the context of developing new skills, such as a new language, learning a certain aspect of history, or choosing a new career path that requires adaptability, these all make sense in developing our understanding of the world.

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The Haunted House Inside

It is fascinating to realise that feeling good or happy has nothing to do with the outside world, our circumstances or material possessions. Feeling anything has to do with the quality of our thinking and the feelings that arise as a natural result of this simple fact. The less personal thinking we do the more mental space we have to allow our common sense and wisdom to emerge and with these arises a consistently reassuring good feeling.

The haunted house that we can all live in within our heads is just the result of an overactive imagination. Visiting the darker places of our past via thought is like going on a rather realistic ghost ride which is populated by the memories and figures of our lives.

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Some thoughts on the Nature of Bullying

Creon: “An enemy is still an enemy. Dead or alive.”Antigone: “No, I was born with love enough to share: no hate for anyone.” From Antigone by Sophocles

If someone is acting in a bullying manner, we can be sure of one thing alone; that this tells us very little about ourselves but a lot about the psychological state of the person caught in the bullying mindset.

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An end to depression and the start of joy

‘We are all only ever one thought away from happiness’
Syd Banks

Have you ever wondered where low feelings come from; why some people are plagued by feelings of depression and unhappiness?  What is interesting is the fact that all people create feelings in the same way, and we can all have low moods and depressed feelings, which means we can all have good feelings too.

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Stillness: the Natural State

The world is continually searching for stillness, for quiet; to feel good and happy and contented. The paradox in all this searching is that the stillness and good feelings that we strive toward is the most natural state in the world.

Let’s look at it like this: we all experience moments of stillness that simply come upon us, these moments arise spontaneously and invariably seem random; moments such as having the leisure to observe somebody undertaking an activity or task that requires deep concentration. We watch and pick up on the good feeling of neutrality.

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The Power of the Mind

‘It is your Mind that creates this world’
The Buddha

Every morning when we wake up a beautiful thing occurs: we start to think. As we pass from the sleeping, dreaming state where thinking also occurs (just in a more abstract and disjointed way or so it appears), to the waking state, our thinking becomes somewhat more conscious – although not altogether! Because there are some thoughts we are more aware of, and others that just run as a programme within our head, a bit like an audio track that is on repeat, that we have become unaware of.

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Personal Thought Creates Reality

It is not that others in our lives are completely innocent of causing us injustices and therefore have no responsibility for their actions, but moreover that we have full responsibility for how we think and ultimately feel about those events. It is us that carry them with us via the power of thought. If we truly want to be free from our past, we must then realise that it is within our power to do so. No one else can make us feel happy, or sad, or anything, because we are the one having those thoughts and feelings. Let go of your past, forgive others and free your mind…