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Case Study

Helping a Mining Company Manage its Workforce’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in Mozambique

Our client’s mining site is located in Northern Mozambique, in a high-risk area with ongoing militant insurgency since 2017. They are currently subscribed to our clinic services in Pemba, and our joint venture, SEPRI in association with International SOS, provides a full MedSite solution to support their project.

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Overview

Our client’s mining site is located in Northern Mozambique, in a high-risk area with ongoing militant insurgency since 2017. They are currently subscribed to our clinic services in Pemba, and our joint venture, SEPRI in association with International SOS, provides a full MedSite solution to support their project. When our client noticed rising stress levels within their workforce amidst local security threats and other concerns, they leveraged our expertise as their dedicated health partner. Following discussions with the client, our medical experts crafted a tailored solution to support their workforce’s mental health and wellbeing. 

Problem

Our client initially believed it was the ongoing militant insurgency in the region and around the mining site that was the main reason for their workforce’s deteriorating mental health. However, the underlying issues were multifold and indirect consequences of the insurgency. Our client had increased security measures on site which meant frequent site lockdowns and limited freedom of movement for a population of 2000 staff. As a result, lengthy work rotations and long periods away from family and friends impacted staff’s mental wellbeing.

Solution

In light of this situation, our medical experts designed a solution to help support our client’s workforce in a proactive fashion. Based on the employees’ risk profiles, the team identified over 170 employees who were most at risk of being affected by the ongoing situation. They were enrolled in a proactive outreach programme staffed by trained International SOS Healthcare Practitioners (HCPs) and supported by a Programme Manager, with clinical governance provided by a Senior International SOS HCP and the client’s Global Health Advisor.

The programme consisted of International SOS HCPs reaching out to the employees at least once a week to assess their wellbeing and provide them with health promotional advice as required. Due to the volatile security situation in the province, HCPs with a background in humanitarian health provision in conflict zones were assigned to this programme. They were also bilingual in English and Portuguese, making it easier for our client’s employees to express themselves comfortably.  

Specialist counselling referrals were available to any employee who the HCPs felt would benefit from these, following their triage during the course of the programme. 

As part of the mental health and wellbeing solution, we also offered mental health resilience webinars to the entire mine population, providing coping strategies in both English and Portuguese.

Impact

This proactive approach has positively impacted the wellbeing and morale of our client’s workforce. The risk-based triage has allowed for the timely identification of mental health issues and specialist referrals and support. In total, 1,818 calls were made to the programme population over the first three months. The programme, which was initially of a three-month duration, was so successful that it was extended and broadened to include more employees.

Moreover, the consolidated data and feedback has enabled the client to change some of the workplace processes, systems and culture, improving staff wellbeing and productivity.