Prime Mover Magazine

Govt backs launch of industry mental health initiative

Representatives from leading Australian road transport and logistics industries have come together in the virtual launch of the Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds Foundation.

The Foundation is an initiative between road transport, warehousing and logistics operators and is the first national industry-wide approach to support drivers and logistics workers with issues relating to mental health and wellbeing.

Woolworths Group, Coles, Linfox, Toll, Qube and Ron Finemore Transport are corporate partners of the Foundation with additional support coming from other bodies including the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, National Transport Insurance and GT insurance in addition to the Commonwealth Government.

Lindsay Fox, founder of Linfox, is foundation patron.

“I’ve seen the impacts mental health can have on people in our industry and I know it’s time to speak up on this issue as much as we have done on safety,” he said in a prepared statement.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced during the launch that an additional $600,000 of Federal funding for the Foundation would be allocated under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

“We need our transport operators to be their best selves and to have a healthy head is so important,” he said as part of the online event.

According to a survey conducted by mental health specialist organisation SuperFriend, the transport, postal and warehousing industries ranked lowest out of 19 industries for mentally healthy workplaces.

“We want everyone in our industry to know it’s OK to not feel OK and that our metal health needs to be actively managed just like our physical health,” said Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer and Chair of Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds, Paul Graham.

“Together we believe we can create not just a better environment for people to work in but a safer place for individual mental health and wellbeing,” he said.

The Foundation is built on three key pillars: increasing the number of people trained in mental health at road transport facilities nationally, standardising policies and processes across transport and logistics industries to destress the environment for drivers; and focusing on individual mental health and improved wellness through education and resources.

(Image: Lindsay Fox.)

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