Painting a picture of mental health

24 November, 2022

Nigel Gould is a fierce advocate of men’s mental health. He is also the recent winner of the Safety Advocate of the Year Award 2022.

“It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to get help,” says Nigel.

Nigel works at Rio Tinto as a Plant Operator. He understands how isolating mining jobs can be. This is why he has dedicated his time as a mental health advocate and works to support various charities. His aim is to help as many people as he can.

“In mining, you’re in a cab for hours and then in your donga and it can be really lonely. Men are sometimes not the best at communicating and it can get bad fast. So I just try and get people to talk, and I’ve been fortunate to save a couple of lives just by talking to people.

I’m no expert, all I do is listen and not judge, but sometimes that’s all someone needs,” Nigel told Australian Mining.

Further to his efforts, Nigel Gould is an ambassador for Movember. Movember is a charity aimed at raising awareness for men’s mental and physical health. They have been successfully operating for over a decade.

“It’s not just men’s mental health that Movember focusses on but things like prostate and testicular cancer, too. It helps men to be aware of themselves and get those much-needed check-ups,” says Gould.

Nigel Gould recently had his portrait painted for the Archibald Prize. The Archibald Prize is an open art competition judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.

The portrait captured Gould’s character, mining experience and mental health advocacy.

“The portrait is the whole story of my career involvement. You’ve got the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Movember big mo, the big wad of money because it’s not all about the money, even though that’s at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. There’s a lot of meaning in the portrait. I’m very fortunate to be known around the mine sites as someone people can go to for help,” said Gould.