National Road Carriers Association has partnered with Sir John Kirwan’s mental health organisation, Mentemia, in a bid to ease the mental stress of their truckies.
NRC member companies collectively operate 16,000 trucks throughout New Zealand and the association is encouraging them to get as many of their staff as possible to download and use the free Mentemia app.
“The industry’s health and wellbeing are important to everyone and should be talked about,” says NRC CEO David Aitken.
“People in the road freight industry work tirelessly to ensure freight is being delivered on time and COVID-19 is contributing to an increase in stress and anxiety levels.”
Mentemia co-founder Sir John Kirwan says the app is packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help people learn how to be well and stay well.
“It helps users deal with the most common stressors we experience in the modern connected world today – poor sleep, anxiety and stress.
“These stressors, if left unattended, can significantly impact quality of life at home and work. Mentemia is the fence at the top of the cliff rather than being the ambulance at the bottom.”
Taking a toll
David says NRC had been looking for a mental health tool for members when he heard about Mentemia.
“Many of the NRC team have used it and embraced the tools available. We checked it out and we really liked what it had to offer.”
He says the appalling state of many New Zealand’s roads takes a physical and mental toll on truck drivers and NRC is campaigning to improve this.
“Navigating the country’s poorly maintained roads is a major health hazard that makes them ‘unsafe workplaces’ for all drivers that use them.
“NRC is very concerned about the mental stress drivers are under trying to keep these heavy vehicles on substandard roads.
“Drivers spend a long time in their vehicles and it’s a demanding enough job without having to constantly negotiate these safety hazards.”
Concern for the mental wellbeing of truck drivers is an on-going issue in the industry.
Truck rental company TR Group last year painted a Mack Superliner truck and trailer black and emblazoned the message “I am hope” on its side.
“This truck and trailer is an expression of love and support for all of you who have experienced, or are experiencing, mental health struggles – either directly or via someone you love,” says TR Group Auckland general manager Brendan King.
“What we wanted to achieve with Mack was to give love and support to everyone affected by mental health issues and raise awareness in the community.
“You are not alone, there is always support here and there is always hope.”