The trucking industry has more than its fair share of issues around mental health and getting help to those who need it. Statistics say 45 per cent of Australians will be affected by mental illness in their working lifetime, and 4 out of 20 people will experience mental health issues this year.
Team Transport and Logistics from Brisbane is doing its part to highlight mental health in the transport industry by raising awareness and funds for the Beyondblue organisation.I The company held a launch function to celebrate two new DAFs all wrapped in messages to encourage men to talk about their mental health issues.
Spearheading the campaign is long-term Team Transport and Logistics staffer, group co-ordinator Kylie Wilkinson, who has witnessed the effects of depression in the male dominated workforce.
“I think being with a transport company for 27 years, and it’s very male dominated, I have seen the struggles with a lot of the boys particularly the ones that are in the trucks for long amounts of time and also the ones that if something happens in their life, it is really hard for them to deal with, I have seen what they go through,” said Wilkinson.
“Our aim with the wraps is to open up the dialogue a little bit, start a conversation and get some of these tough boys talking about issue they may have, they might be rough and tough looking but they are not. It was just to start the conversation really and raise money and put the word out that we need more resources and we need more education on depression from a young age.
“I noticed in the last couple of years that the boys I do talk to that are having problems, I have to drag the information out of them, plus stats don’t lie. More men commit suicide than women in Australia.”
The event gained a lot of support from key suppliers and through a raffle run by the staff. The goal was to raise $1500 for Beyondblue but the event exceeded that almost four fold raising more that $7000.
A fact sheet has been developed in partnership with SANE Australia, by the Australian Trucking Association released to the industry.
“It’s not uncommon to hear people complain about being stressed,” said Chris Melham, ATA CEO. “But if job stress is following you on holiday, or you sometimes feel inexplicably distressed or disconnected, it’s a reminder to put your own mental wellbeing as your first priority.
“Many of us like to think we can manage on our own, but it’s important to ask for help if you need it. It’s especially important to have someone you can talk to and who understands how you are feeling.
“One of the strongest defences against mental illness is staying connected to your family and friends. If you’re out on the road or can’t reach these people, there are also a range of support services listed in the fact sheet that are there to help 24/7.”