Trans-Care mental health initiative underway


VTA and Work Options link to tackle stigma prevalent in the industry

Trans-Care mental health initiative underway
Neil Chambers says support for managers is needed

 

A new employee assistance program is being aimed at overcoming mental health taboos in the transport industry.

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) together with injury specialists Work Options has launched a program called Trans-Care that will seek to break down the mental health stigma within the industry.

Starting next month, the year-long program will see managers trained to identify signs of stress, burnout and depression amongst their staff.

They will also be taught to promote a positive mental health culture, provide constructive communication and identify and manage drug and alcohol issues.

The confidential program is facilitated by qualified health, safety and injury management specialists.

VTA CEO Neil Chambers says the freight and logistics industry is physically and psychologically challenging, with many at risk of burnout and depression.

"We know that depression and suicide are prominent public health concerns in Australia, with an average of almost seven Australians taking their own life in Australia each day," Chambers says.

"The VTA Trans-Care program will provide participants with the necessary training, education and support on a range of potential work-related and personal issues which may impact on their job performance, health and wellbeing."

He says it’s important that such support is provided given half of the industry has no access to mental health support.

"Given the demanding nature of the freight and logistics industry, it is imperative that managers and supervisors can manage their work and personal demands and access support as required.

"It is vital for the success of the industry that businesses retain employees in these senior roles to foster a productive, safe and positive workplace culture."

Work Options managing director Karen Casteldine says the program has been designed to support managers, supervisors and future leaders.

"The program will focus not only on training and education workshops but participants will be able to access counselling services as well as a 24 hour advice, assistance and support hotline," Casteldine says.

"To increase wellbeing, the program focusses on mental health awareness and resilience training to empower them to identify and resolve workplace issues before they get out of control."

VTA members can bring three employees to the year-long program at a cost of $2,800.

The fee for non-members is $3,800.

For more information or to register, call the VTA on 03 9646 8590 or email leni@vta.com.au

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