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Late last year, Glencore Coal partnered with MATES in Mining to deliver suicide awareness and prevention training, and provide ongoing support to employees across their 16 operations. Hayley Melville, a Senior Geologist at Glencore’s Clermont Open Cut Operation, shares how the training is going. 

Glencore has recently partnered with Mates in Mining. What training have you done at site so far?

I’ve completed the General Awareness Training and have put my name forward to complete the Connector Training.

Why do you think it’s important for businesses to be involved in mental health initiatives?

It’s important for businesses to be involved in mental health initiatives like this so employees have support avenues available in times of crisis. Not just for the person suffering from a mental health condition but also for family and friends who can see that their loved ones need help. Support available through work makes it easier to ask questions and seek advice that is so needed during a very difficult time.

You’re a champion/advocate for mental health awareness. What is your personal connection to the cause?

One of the hardest things to watch is a loved one who is suffering a mental health condition. I’ve seen the suffering that’s involved for the whole family when someone is battling with mental ill-health on a daily basis.

My husband has battled depression for many years now, and the effect it’s had on him and our family with two young children brings me to tears on a regular basis. Glencore has had support services available to employees and their families for many years now. If I didn’t have access to these services during our time of need, our family’s future would look very different.

You mentioned that you previously walked the Kokoda Track in support of Mates in Mining. Can you tell me about that? What was that experience like?

After going through the experience that we did, I saw on Facebook that Mates in Mining were running a hike to the Kokoda Track. I wanted to sign up straight away!

With the support of my family, friends and Clermont Open Cut I was able to raise the target amount of $5,000 to donate to Mates in Mining. The trek itself was really hard but we had such a great group of people from all areas of the mining sector.

When the trek got hard, I would just tell myself to keep moving and that the physical pain I was feeling was nothing compared to the pain that people with depression and other mental health conditions go through on a daily basis.

It was one of the most rewarding experiences and knowing that it helps such a wonderful organisation like Mates, makes it even better.

If you need support MATES 24/7 Helpline on 1300 642 111 or Lifeline on 131114

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