VTA call to raise mental health awareness


Anderson says operators should look for early signs of workplace mental ill-health

VTA call to raise mental health awareness
Peter Anderson

 

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is encouraging the industry to help raise awareness of mental health issues.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson says work-related stress and associated mental health problems are a particular concern for the transport industry therefore operators and employees should recognise the role each individual can play to prevent it.

Like the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), VTA is supportive of industry efforts to identify potential mental health issues "before they become a larger problem".


Read NHVR's appeal for National Safe Work Month, here


"One in five Australians are affected by mental illness – yet many don’t seek help because of the stigma associated with mental ill-health," Anderson says.

World Mental Health Day is an initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health that aims to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.

The theme selected for this year is suicide prevention.

"The VTA is pleased to support the Day and other initiatives planned during Mental Health Month October," he says.

"Today we recognise the impact and scale of suicide around the world and the role each of us can play to prevent it.

"It provides an opportunity to unite, educate and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health by encouraging people to seek the help and support they deserve."

Anderson says that transport workers are more vulnerable than those in other sectors to mental health problems.

"Mental ill-health in the transport industry – particularly among drivers – can arise from the smallest of things, such as travelling and being away from home for extensive periods of time, striving to attain deadlines, disruptions to sleep patterns, anxiety, loneliness and other emotional problems.

"The transport industry employs around 666,100 people with a median age of 44 years, accounting for nearly 5.2 per cent of Australia’s workforce, and has increased by nearly 13.9 per cent over the past five years.

"Our industry is rapidly growing, with freight tasks expected to triple by 2050.

"This World Mental Health Day, we encourage operators and employees to look for the early signs of mental ill-health in their workplace, irrespective of whether individuals appear to be physically and mentally fit on their exterior.

"Here at the VTA, we have fostered an active People Group with one of the key on-going themes centred around ensuring operational and associated business activities are focused on increasing wellbeing and improving mental health outcomes.

"I encourage you and your operation to get involved today and during Mental Health Month October, so that we can start to reduce the burden of mental health in our communities and workplaces," he says.

 

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