Mental Health Leadership in Mining


The 5th Annual COO Leaders Summit was proud to have Catherine Ashton, Mindful Employer Program Facilitator from SANE, present in Mental Health Leadership in Mining. Catherine  focused on many key factors surrounding mental health in mining leadership. She highlighted how leaders can assist mine managers and supervisors take a preventative approach to mental health and mining. Engaging with the mining COOs, Catherine also emphasised starting and maintaining momentum, as well as paying homage to the distinctiveness of mining and praising the elements there are working.

As a Mindful Employer Facilitator, Catherine’s work includes mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention, FIFO workforce mental health and wellbeing, family health, health promotion and children’s mental health. Her work has spanned from metropolitan and remote communities, schools, local governments, corporations and the resources sector.

Recently having conducted a suicide prevention feasibility study for a major resource company, Catherine travelled throughout the regions’s mining sites in the Pilbara region identifying the effect of a FIFO lifestyle. She has also co-authored the WA and Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into FIFO Mental Health and Suicide submissions. Catherine is a co-founding member of the FIFO Australian Community of Excellence (FACE) Network.

Catherine is apart of SANE, one of Australia’s most established mental health, not-for-profit organisations. SANE’s mission is to help people and carers affected by mental illness to lead a better life. SANE is a founding member of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance established by the Mental Health Commission. With a workplace initiative, the Mindful Employer program is the best practice, preventative program. The program supports cultural change and stigma reduction in organisations by improving the skills and confidence of staff and managers to address mental health issues early.

This conversation opened up several questions from the COOs. If you have any questions tweet them to @COOLeaders and use #COOLeadersSummit! Or join the discussion on our LinkedIn page!