NHVR throws support behind Men’s Health Week

A truck driver at dusk in the outback.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is issuing a crucial reminder to truck drivers this Men’s Health Week.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM said as the backbone of Australia’s logistics network, truck drivers face unique challenges, including enduring long hours on the road, and extended periods of isolation away from family and friends.

“The NHVR recognises that Men’s Health Week is an opportune moment for a large majority of our trucks drivers to reflect on their mental and physical well-being and make it a top priority,” Petroccitto said.

“In an industry where demands are high and the distances are vast, it’s imperative for all truck drivers to remember that their mental and physical health comes first.

“We know both mental and physical health issues are overrepresented in heavy vehicle drivers – the nature of the transport industry means drivers are often sitting down for hours at a time, which can negatively impact their health.

“It’s critical that drivers are managing their health by exercising, eating healthy foods and getting enough rest and sleep.”

All truck drivers, according to Petroccitto, need to be putting both their physical and mental health in the driver’s seat, not only for their personal safety and well-being, but the well-being of all other road users.

“We are calling upon our industry partners to join us in fostering a culture that values and supports the mental health of our trucking workforce, and reduce the stigma associated with seeking support,” he said.

Through the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, the NHVR is actively working to enhance mental health resources and access for truck drivers by funding projects such as OzHelp Foundation’s Health in Gear program.

A comprehensive health and wellbeing program, Health in Gear includes an on-road presence, online support, information and counselling services for transport and logistic workers.

OzHelp CEO Caroline Walsh said Health in Gear provides vital support for people working in the transport industry.

“Truck drivers are the second-highest industry group at risk of suicide in Australia,” Walsh said.

“OzHelp’s Health in Gear program takes the support on the road, getting our services to locations that are accessible and convenient for drivers.

“We want truck drivers to know that while the road may be long, you’re never alone.”

OzHelp offers free counselling and 24/7 phone support for transport and logistics workers and their families, on 1800 464 327.

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