The Tasmanian Forest Industry has released a four-part video series to support mental health and wellbeing within the industry through COVID-19. The videos were created as a collaboration between eight industry organisations and supported by the Tasmanian Government.
The industry established a COVID-19 Communications Working Group, hosted by the Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network (TFFPN), in the early stages of the pandemic. The first initiative of the group was to survey employees within the industry to determine their information needs.
“We discovered that information about ‘mental health and wellbeing’ and anxiety about ‘the impact on my job’ were the most critical areas requiring attention,” said TPPFN Network Convenor, Therese Taylor.
Neville Smith Forest Products Group Production Manager Josh Turnbull is the primary subject of the video series, which starts by following a day working from home through COVID-19 with Josh. This is followed by advice for those Going to Work, Impacts on Jobs and looking after your Mental Health and Wellbeing.
“Josh tackles the everyday issues facing many of us through COVID-19 including working from home with kids, reducing the stress on your belt from iso-eating, being isolated from the people you usually work alongside every day, having a drink with your mates on Zoom, and taking the odd call on the front porch in your jocks at 5am,” says. Therese.
The series features the Minister for Resources, Hon. Guy Barnett MP, on impacts on jobs and Tommy Windsor from the Movember Foundation providing practical advice on how to be kind to yourself and look after your mates through COVID-19.
The Minister for Resources, Guy Barnett welcomed the industry support videos saying that the Tasmanian Liberal Government recognised that forestry is a cornerstone of our economy and has a key role to play in our plan to rebuild a stronger Tasmania.
“I am extremely proud of the way the forestry industry has adapted to new regulations, rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job, ensuring the industry continues to operate throughout the pandemic, Minister Barnett said.
“As we transition into more businesses opening up, the forestry sector will continue to help lead Tasmania’s recovery, driving investment and providing thousands of jobs, many in regional areas.”
The overarching message is ‘we’re all in this together – and we will get through it.’
“PFT is delighted to contribute to the production of this four-part video series,” says PFT CEO Penny Wells.
“It is a great resource for our sector, and much needed through this challenging time. I hope it helps everyone to feel supported and connected.”
The video series was inspired by videos created in New Zealand by the Forest Industry Contractors Association, Safetree, and the Log Transport Safety Council. The Tasmanian communications group sought their permission to develop a Tasmanian version, and they were only too happy to help.
Pio Terei the subject of the NZ series, on seeing the Tasmanian version said, “I think these are brilliant. I am happy that your NZ cousins were able to help. Feel free to make your island an extension of our ones. Stay safe and be kind.”
The video series is a great resource not only for forest industry workers, but for all Tasmanians.