Authors: Kathy Bond, Ruth Oakden, Melissa Weller
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: workplace mental health, services, wellbeing
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: SYMPOSIUM: Addressing mental health in a large, complex sector: What the transport industry is doing.
Almost 1 in 2 transport workers experience a mental health problem and more than a third of those report that their workplace caused it or made it worse. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the industry. Collaborations between mental health experts and industry bodies are needed to address this complex issue.
In this presentation delegates will hear from representatives from the Toll Group, Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds and Mental Health First Aid® Australia about how they are working with other industry bodies to promote the prevention and early intervention of mental health problems in the sector.
The Toll Group takes the safety of our people seriously. A key component of our Safety Obsessed program is mental health. We are committed to providing emotionally safe workplaces, and engaging with our people through training, awareness, and support. To achieve this, we have both responsive and proactive approaches.
We have an integrated Wellbeing and multi-tier Employee Assistance Program model that gives our people access to the support they need, when they need it. Our model provides options for both short- and long-term support, covering the full scope of issues that impact our people’s wellbeing.
We proactively offer a diverse and accessible set of training and awareness programs.
We believe that understanding mental health issues, being aware of available resources, and encouraging people to use them are key to reducing the impact of mental health problems on people, at work and at home. Mental Health First Aid Australia training underpins our approach and has allowed us to increase understanding about mental health problems within our own organisation.
Together with Mental Health First Aid Australia, Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, Steering Healthy Minds and RUOK?, the Toll Group are negotiating the complex needs of our industry to create a consistent and accessible approach.
Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds (HHTS) is an industry-for-industry charitable foundation, established in response to the alarming state of mental health and physical wellbeing for those working in the road transport, warehousing and logistics industries.
Truck drivers and shed workers are exposed to unique risk factors through the course of simply doing their jobs. Long hours spent on the road, shift work and contract work, financial pressures, and tight deadlines all lead to fatigue, isolation and disconnect. This has caused the postal, road transport and warehousing sector to be ranked 19 out of 19 in Australia for being ‘’mentally healthy’’.
HHTS was launched in August 2020 to address these issues, delivering the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap (the Roadmap), a work program to drive positive change and an advocacy program to raise awareness across governments, industry, and the public about the challenges of the sector, and recommended solutions.
Facilitating and coordinating the Roadmap for the workforce is a true example of industries working for industries. The Roadmap highlights seven key workplace strategies, along with practical actions that put into operation the evidence-based industry framework of prevention, protection and support.
Mental Health First Aid Australia is a purpose-driven, Australian-based global provider of mental health first aid education. For over 20 years, Mental Health First Aid Australia has been committed to quality mental health education and skills development to reduce stigma and improve outcomes for those living with mental health problems. Our courses are based on evidence from experts about how everyday people can support someone who has a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. In partnership with the University of Melbourne, we have developed evidence-based guidelines that cover a number of mental health problems, crises and contexts. Once developed, courses are evaluated to assess changes in knowledge, skills and confidence.
Mental Health First Aid Australia, the Toll Group and HHTS are working with other industry organisations (Steering Healthy Minds and TrackSAFE) to strengthen our impact. Together we have developed tailored course materials and are promoting Mental Health First Aid training to the industry.
In recognition that we are stronger together, key players have joined forces to reduce the impact of mental health problems on people working in the transport and supply chain industry and are working towards a healthier Industry.