Mental health targeted in remote transport initiative


Forums to address unique risks of working in isolated areas

Mental health targeted in remote transport initiative
Working in remote parts of Australia can bring a unique set of challenges

 

A number of forums will be held in Australia’s top end addressing mental health education and other issues facing heavy vehicle operators and owners in remote parts of Australia.

Six regional transport and logistics sessions will hosted by the Western Roads Federation, together with the Northern Territory Road Transport Association (NTRTA), and supported by a $5,000 grant from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

NHVR strategy and stakeholder executive director John Gilbert says as many as one-in-five heavy vehicle operators experience mental health issues during their career, which can be exacerbated by working in remote regions.


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"We’re committed to working with the road transport industry in actively implementing strategies to create safe and healthy workplaces, including mental health in the workplace," Gilbert adds.

NTRTA executive officer Louise Bilato says heavy vehicle businesses in remote parts of Australia face unique circumstances that can increase stress and isolation.

"Promoting mental health through peer-to-peer support, advocating for safe and healthy work practices and prioritising sleep are essential if we are to reduce suicide risk and mental health challenges in the industry," Bilato says.

"This initiative is intended to support transport operators implement effective strategies to assist their workforce identify their mental health risks and implement strategies to help deal with their problems."

Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny says the forums, held jointly with  the Regional Chambers of Commerce, should unite industry and businesses across regional WA and NT.

The sessions will also provide information for Western Australian businesses about Chain of Responsibility obligations and local issues, Dumesny adds.

The sessions will be held in Bunbury (November 13), Alice Springs (November 22), Kununurra (November 26), Broome (November 28), Karratha (November 30) and Kalgoorlie (December 7).

 

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