22 Sep 2020
For National Road Carriers
National Road Carriers Association (NRC) is working to help ease mental stress by partnering with Sir John Kirwan’s Mentemia to provide its mental health app to all those involved in the transport industry.
“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.”
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 app.
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.”
“With Mentemia, you discover what things can help you feel more energised, more productive, and better equipped for whatever the world throws at you.”
Mr Aitken said 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 said 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. To let you know you are not alone and there is always support here and there is always hope.
“The messaging on our truck is aimed at friends and loved ones – it is our job to ask our mates if they are okay and to offer them our time, our love, our support. One of the messages is ‘what are you doing to make it okay to ask for help’. Another is ‘have you checked on your mates today?’”
Mr Aitken said with this week being Mental Health Awareness week, NRC feels it is timely to encourage everyone to download the Mentemia app and to start talking to those around us, as many people who look okay can be struggling on the inside.
Give us a call, send us a message or call in and see us. We’d love to hear from you.