Breaking down the barrier to seeking help with HitchBox
We had a chat with Ian McLean about his passion for supporting mental health, which led to creating the HitchBox and collaborating with LIVIN. Find out how its supporting Shell employees on RUOK Day.
Who are LIVIN and what is HitchBox?
HitchBox helps to break down the barrier to seeking help and crush the stigma associated with mental health, especially in heavy industry and ‘working away from home’ environments. It puts positive and pro-active messaging and tools in front of staff, inside their ‘home away from home’ and away from judgement, packaged up in something that people actually want to engage with. The coupling of the two elements – the essentials kit and the pro-active mental health management tools – sends the message to staff that they are cared for, empowered and encouraged to speak up or seek help to maintain good mental health.
What inspired your passion for supporting mental health causes?
The HitchBox concept and my passion to help is a result of my own personal experiences with isolation and withdrawal. During a period where I felt depressed and ‘stuck’, I withdrew from my peers, my family, and my workmates. The last thing I wanted to do was to ask for the mental health assistance line. On the other side of that experience I reflected a lot on why I didn’t seek help earlier. I came to the conclusion that I sub-consciously kept quiet because of the stigma and stereotype surrounding mental health. It was this realisation that led me down the path of creating something to help people in similar situations to that one I experienced.
"It sends the message to staff that they are cared for, empowered and encouraged to speak up or seek help to maintain good mental health.”
Why do you partner with LIVIN?
I wanted to join forces with a charity organisation who were doing great things in the space, so I reached out to Sam and Casey from LIVIN after seeing what they were doing with their movement online. The way they made caring cool, the way they used social media and modern connectivity to reach more people and the pro-active nature of their approach all resonated with me. After reaching out and learning the full story behind LIVIN I knew they were the one – our causes were both a result of personal experiences and the level of passion we shared to work together was equal.
How does Shell’s QGC business support their employees?
QGC offers a range of support services to their staff, and the leave flexibility is something that I experienced myself as very supportive. After working with inspiring people like Bill Langin and Jodie Hurd to bring the HitchBox and LIVIN programs to the front lines on such a large scale – I truly believe there is a strong level of passion and support from the top down.
As a part of RUOK Day 2019, Shell staff based in Chinchilla, Ruby Jo, Woleebee Creek and Curtis Island will receive a HitchBox and on-shore sites will all get the opportunity to attend one of the applauded and effective LIVINWell sessions.
RUOK Day is Thursday 12 September 2019.
For more information about HitchBox visit: http://hitchbox.org
For more information about LIVIN visit: https://livin.org/
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