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Healthy Heads encourages transport industry to ask R U OK?

Healthy Heads

Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds is continuing its R U OK? in Trucks and Sheds initiative this year, on Tuesday, May 14.

It is dedicated to supporting healthy workplace cultures within the industry to promote looking out for each other and shining a light on mental health.

The 2024 theme for the road transport, warehousing and logistics industries is ‘Ask R U OK? – No qualifications needed.’

“When asking for feedback from the industry, we heard people didn’t feel qualified enough to ask, ‘are you OK?’, says Naomi Frauenfelder, Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds CEO.

“Our 2024 theme ‘Ask R U OK? – No qualifications needed’ aims to break through this stigma and reassure the road transport, warehousing, and logistics industries that you don’t need a qualification to check in with a colleague or friend.

“We want to build confidence across our industries to ask, ‘are you OK?’ every time we spot the signs a workmate might be struggling.”

Healthy Heads says the initiative has helped to change lives and open up the conversation around mental health in the transport industry.

Coles distribution centre manager Vikki Venables shared her story from a past experience.

“One day, I got a phone call from my manager saying that a colleague didn’t seem like himself,” she says.

“I reached out, and he opened up to me that he had a plan to end his life that night. Together, we called the hospital, arranged for him to be with someone that night, and made an appointment for the next day.

“I messaged him in the morning encouraging him to go to the appointment. He replied and let me know he had gone and would be going back again.

“We organised for him to have time off work so he could focus on getting better. I checked in with him once a week to see how he was going. When he returned to work a few months later, he thanked me for saving his life.

“Next time you’re worried about a workmate, just check in. Don’t overthink it. It’s not about saying the right things; it’s about being available and ready to listen.

“I was no expert or counsellor, but I knew how to be a friend. It can, and does, save lives.”

You can access a number of mental health resources on the Healthy Heads website.

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