VTA secures vital mental health funding

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has received a share in $5.9 million of Commonwealth funding under Round 5 of the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI).

Over the past five years, $22.8 million has been allocated for 89 HVSI grants.

Recently announced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz, the funding is expected to deliver safety benefits for the heavy vehicle industry and other road users.

“Projects being funded this round target key areas such as developing or testing innovative new technologies, mental health support for drivers, educational campaigns and much-needed training and development,” said McCormack when announcing the funding.

VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, welcomed the funding and the Commonwealth’s confidence in the VTA’s delivery of this important program.

“Work-related and associated mental health problems are a major concern for the transport and logistics industry with around 17 per cent of workers reporting that factors within their workplace resulted in their development of a mental health condition – the fifth highest instance across all industries,” said Anderson.

The VTA’s HeadFit, BusinessFit program is designed to effectively drive change and significantly improve mental health and well-being across the Victorian transport and logistics industry.

Anderson said mental ill-health affects not only the health and wellbeing of employees, but also the productivity of operators, and that it makes good business sense to address mental health in the workplace.

“The project’s objective is to integrate a change management approach to mental health and well-being into transport organisations.

“It is designed to create a positive workplace environment in transport and logistics companies by providing healthy workplace cultures, positive leadership systems and processes and individual support.

“To date, efforts to recognise and address work-related and associated mental health problems have been very few and far between. The VTA recognises effective change requires proactively addressing the organisational and individual factors which influence work-related mental health issues.

“This project has an industry-wide focus with real benefits for both industry and the community and will roll out over a two-year period across Melbourne and regional Victoria. It will promote and raise the awareness of mental health issues and facilitate and connect organisations with professional service providers when implementing an integrated approach to mental health,” he said.

(Image: Victorian Transport Association CEO, Peter Anderson.)

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