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Truck Tech Group continues building its mental health support for workers

A year after it first made a public commitment to mental health awareness in transport, Truck Tech Group is seeing its workers realise what it means to support each other

Last year, Truck Tech Group formalised its commitment to mental health among its workforce and the wider transport industry by partnering with Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds.

The collaboration has since sought to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing support within the transport, warehousing and logistics industries, with Truck Tech continuing to advocate for recognising the important of addressing mental health challenges in the heavy vehicle industry.

“Truck Tech is dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and support within our industry. We endeavour to spark conversations, encourage openness and inspire others to join us in championing this crucial cause,” Truck Tech Group CEO Barry Saad told ATN.

Following the partnership, Truck Tech Group also launched a Healthy Heads Roadmap Planner to help guide the trucking community on workplace wellbeing plans.

“Truck Tech Group is proud to stand alongside Healthy Heads, united in our mission to prioritise mental health and well-being within the trucking community,” Saad says.

“Together, we will drive change, inspire resilience and build a future where everyone is able to feel supported, valued and empowered.”

Truck Tech has also joined Healthy Heads’ ongoing initiative in conjunction with R U OK? To support R U OK in Trucks and Sheds and its annual national day of action. The third annual day, held on May 14 this year, encouraged those in the transport industry to continue checking in with each other.

The emphasis of being open with each other has allowed some Truck Tech members, such as one of its leading hands in Thomas Burke, to discuss their mental health. Burke recently spoke with R U OK in Trucks & Sheds about his career with cars and trucks.

Truck Tech’s Thomas Burke. Image: Truck Tech Group

Currently, Burke manages a team of seven people ranging from 18 to 65 years old, with his personal and professional challenges making him passionate about encouraging supportive conversations at work.

“I know when the boys are having an off day because they’re not performing, or they’re distracted,” he says.

“It’s my job to make sure they’re safe and comfortable, so I usually get them off the tools and encourage them to go for a walk and obviously chat to me if they’re up to it.

“It isn’t easy telling someone you’re struggling, so after I have asked if they’re OK once I don’t push it. I just make sure they know I won’t judge and if they need time, the rest of the team can step in. We have each other’s backs.”

Burke says relationships extend beyond his team, with truckies that the Truck Tech team visit alone on the road often needing a chat to build a level of trust.

It’s these little things that Burke and Truck Tech are continuing to advertise to champion mental health in the transport industry.

“You never know what a workmate is battling with outside of work – I’ve had some serious family struggles over the past few years, and, while it’s separate from work, my brain doesn’t magically switch off when I clock on,” he says.

“Having mates at work who know my situation and give me the space to talk about it makes me feel less alone. I’m no longer afraid to say ‘I’m not OK’. I think me being so open has helped the boys be more open too.

“Even though there are still blokes in the industry who have a ‘toughen up’ attitude, it’s becoming less tolerated, because they realise the day will come when they might need support too. No matter your job, role, or age, having a listening ear can be a life changer.”

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