Trailer Magazine

VTA backs World Mental Heath Day

  • Posted on Thursday 10th, October 2019.

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has been increasingly supportive of industry efforts to identify potential mental health issues before they become a large problem.

One in five Australians are affected by mental illness – yet many do not seek help because of the stigma associated with mental ill-health according to the VTA.

Today is World Mental Health Day, an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health that aims to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide with the theme selected for this year’s Day being suicide prevention.

“The VTA is pleased to support the Day and other initiatives planned during Mental Health Month October,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.

“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,” he said.

Work-related stress and associated mental health problems are a particular concern for the transport industry, where it is well-documented that 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 in their workplace, irrespective of whether individuals appear to be physically and mentally fit on their exterior,” said Anderson.

“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.”

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