28 May 2021 · Driving Hints & Tips

How can mental health be improved in the heavy vehicle and logistics industries?

Mental health

Mental health has been an important topic of discussion over the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic catapulting demand for help worldwide.

Australia's largest workplace mental health study, conducted by SuperFriend, has revealed the transport, logistics, and postal industries are currently ranked as the worst in Australia for mental health, with the industry score declining year on year.

What is being done?

As a response to the ongoing issue the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has initiated a partnership with the Healthy Heads Trucks & Sheds (HHTS) Foundation. HHTS works to improve mental and physical health across the road transport and logistics sector. They advise how mental health issues can be prevented and better understood in truck drivers and logistics workers. This includes providing workers with the skills to support colleagues, and be mindful of their own mental health.

What does this mean for the trucking Industry?

The partnership aims to improve psychological safety and physical health across the heavy vehicle and logistics industries, with the NVHR pledging $150,000 over the next three years to supporting key mental and physical health initiatives. 

What can you do to improve your mental health?

Many factors affecting mental health are preventable, with actions you can take to improve, and maintain, your own mental health.

Exercise has many benefits, both physically and mentally. Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood, reduce the risk of illness, while lowering stress levels. This can positively impact symptoms of mental health such as depression and anxiety. Australian guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity daily, or as often as possible.

Following a healthy pattern of eating is linked with better stress management, improved sleep quality, increased concentration, and better mental wellbeing in general.

Lack of sleep can affect your mental health. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, not consume caffeine before bed, or using alcohol to fall asleep, can improve your length and quality of sleep.

Reducing drug and alcohol use can have a positive impact on your mental health. Drugs and alcohol are addictive substances that can cause symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, or make an existing problem worse.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health. It is also likely to improve your mental wellbeing.

If you want to learn more about mental health, and HHTS learning hub (including tools, information, resources and training material tailored to the road transport, warehousing and logistics industries) please click here.