Dual awards a win for quarry suicide prevention

In October, the Rock Solid suicide prevention pilot program was announced as the winner of the South Australian Regional Award for Health. Two weeks later, it also received the Australian Mining Prospect Award for Community Interaction.

The program was a joint initiative of industry support website Mining Family Matters and suicide prevention services provider Wesley LifeForce. It received funding from SA’s Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee (MAQOHSC).

“Winning the two awards has helped to raise the profile of the program and the issue of suicide awareness more generally, which is a great result,” Mining Family Matters co-founder Alicia Ranford told Quarry. “Mining Family Matters has always maintained that mental health is every bit as important as physical safety on mine sites and quarries – and that prevention is better than cure.”

Ranford added, “We wouldn’t have won these awards without the support of MAQOSHC but also the SA quarries that took advantage of the opportunity to educate their workers about suicide prevention and reinforce the importance of mental health among their workforce. We greatly appreciate the support of those quarries who took part.”

As previously reported by Quarry, the Rock Solid program was launched earlier this year in SA, providing suicide prevention training to nine companies, including two quarry operators, through a series of free interactive workshops. A comprehensive guidebook and worksite posters were also made available through the program.

Ranford said feedback from the pilot suggested that workers in the industry would benefit from more preventative and practical emotional resilience advice on issues such as finances and relationships generally, and that this was being incorporated into a wider program.

When asked whether the program would expand beyond SA, Ranford responded, “We’ve had inquiries from a couple of mining companies in Western Australia and an organisation in New South Wales, and are hoping [the award wins] will generate more interest from more mining and quarry companies across Australia.”

Ranford encouraged those interested in the Rock Solid program to contact her via for more information or to visit the Mining Family Matters website.

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