An industry shift in understanding mental health and wellbeing

On an industry level, best practice approaches for managing mental health and overall wellbeing have become better understood in recent years.

There has been a communal shift in attitude among our industry leaders as well as frontline logistics and supply chain workers.

Positively, people have become more open to the way they feel and starting a conversation around mental health, asking the question R U OK?, thus it’s significance within the community is better understood.

While employers have a shared responsibility to address it, the collective industry have the ability to really drive change.

From a Qube perspective, the fundamental aspect of support provided to our workers is to create a culture where each individual feels safe and included to openly discuss mental health within the workplace, whether that be challenges they’re facing in life or identifying ways to improve psychological safety across the business.

Qube’s Group Manager of Health Wellbeing, Joe Toohey places emphasis on the understanding that just like physical health, everyone has mental health. It’s a continuum and depending on what is happening in a person’s life, translates to where they sit on that continuum.

The ability to cope with certain situations in life will depend on the individual and is not always like for like. Coming to work is a significant part of someone’s life. It’s a part of their identity. As an industry we all need to work together to normalise discussions around healthy workplace environments.

Having been in the industry for almost 20 years, I have a strong view that optimal health and wellbeing outcomes can only be achieved where there is a genuine and concerted effort to drive positive change from the top down. For mental health initiatives in particular, success needs to involve equal engagement from all levels of an organisation.

Particularly, when leaders are willing to show vulnerability and share personal stories, the potential to develop safe and judgment-free environments increases significantly.

At Qube, we are committed to equipping all employees with the necessary tools to help manage mental health both at work and at home.

These tools are developed through mental health information sessions and workshops as well as our involvement with the Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds (HHTS) Foundation through our Ambassador Campaign.

We have HHTS Ambassadors throughout the Qube group who act as mental health advocates from the operations level.

While there has been a shift towards better understanding mental health and wellbeing, as an industry we should be aspiring to ensure there’s no separation between health and safety, and that going forward the holistic health of our workforce is prioritised and managed to the same standard of safety.

The Safety component of Health and Safety, has always had more of a focus than Health, particularly within our industry. It’s not as easy to prioritise health as it is with safety because it’s interpersonal and not always black and white.

SuperFriend reports that 44.8 per cent of workers in our industry experience a mental health condition. Change is necessary and HHTS, as a single national approach, provides an effective mechanism.

We should be sharing resources and learnings with our competitors and stakeholders.

There are no secrets with mental health. Through HHTS we are able to come together to facilitate change.

Many smaller companies within the logistics and supply chain sector don’t have easy access to wellbeing resources and they have just as significant a risk to mental health challenges as workers in larger organisations.

A national approach assists workers and operators across all of industry gain support, regardless of size or scale.

From a Qube perspective, our core function is to provide integrated supply chain solutions. We are not expert medical professionals or organisational psychologists.

We see HHTS as being that expert; an umbrella body who understand the industry and the challenges our workers face within the supply chain.

Qube is committed to the continual improvement of mental health and overall wellbeing within our industry. A shift in work culture and the realisation of positive outcomes is achievable through our work with HHTS.

Belinda Flynn,
Health & Sustainability General Manager,