Blue Tree mental health reminders growing in Whyalla

Our people, Uncategorized > 1st March, 2024

Iron Baron the latest site to “plant” the wellbeing marker

01 March 2024

GFG Alliance’s Whyalla operations have branched out with another reminder about mental health and our need to have conversations about this important wellbeing issue.

Following the “planting” of a blue tree at the entrance of the SIMEC SMR mine, staff at the Iron Baron operation banded together to paint an existing tree near the entrance of their operation.

The Blue Tree Project is a nation-wide initiative that helps spark that difficult conversation and encourages people to speak up when battling mental health concerns. It has flourished into a charity helping change the way we talk about mental health with the blue trees now dotted across Australia and other parts of the world, acting as beacons of hope and conversation starters. 

We all know of people who are having a bit of trouble with mental health and we all need a bit of help from time to time

SIMEC Mining Maintenance Planner Dale Siegmann

Inspired by the SMR tree and guided by Maintenance Planner Dale Siegmann and Superintendent Processing Maintenance Richard Ledington, the Iron Baron crew swung into action to make the latest blue tree happen with a whole raft of benefits along the way.

Dale said the SMR tree had sparked a conversation among Iron Baron staff about mental health in the first place that then led to the idea of their own tree and finally a team-bonding exercise to establish the tree and further promote the Blue Tree Project message.

“It (the SMR tree) got us talking in the first instance, it then allowed us to talk about these issues as we worked through the project and it is still creating conservation which is a good thing,” Dale said.

“It has also been a great team building exercise, everyone was on the same wavelength and we had lots of people contribute.”

Dale said that anyone could suffer from mental health issues during the course of their life and he was proud of the Iron Baron crew members that were able recognise this and put in place their own blue-tinged reminder.

“We all know of people who are having a bit of trouble with mental health and we all need a bit of help from time to time,” Dale said.

“You have to look after your mates and reach out if you see them struggling.

“Similarly, if it is you that is struggling, reach out to your mates, colleagues, team leaders or the employment assistance tools we have in place.

“No one is immune, I’ve had my own battles, but I noticed the SMR tree and by having more of the trees we will have more people notice them to raise awareness and point people in the right direction if they need help.”

Main picture: Iron Baron employees at their blue tree, left to right, Richard Ledington, Ricky Westlake, Paul Vereyken, Elliot Summerton, Dale Siegmann, Josh Wilkes, Paul Hockey, Johnathon Urquhart, Jono Reschke, James Brown and Harinderjeet Singh. Above right: Frank Castle and Richard Mason with the SMR blue tree planted last year.

Read more about our Blue Tree reminders …

Find out more about the Blue Tree Project …

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