ATA supports beyondblue

Raising Anxiety and Depression Awareness during ADA month
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) will show support for beyondblue: the national depression initiative by putting anxiety and depression on the trucking industry’s radar during October.
The Chairman of the ATA, Trevor Martyn, today announced the association’s involvement in beyondblue’s Anxiety and Depression Awareness (ADA) Month, which aims to raise awareness of symptoms and where to get help – and address the associated stigma.

Mr Martyn said that depression affects around one million Australians each year of all ages and backgrounds, including people in the trucking industry and every other industry too.
“In Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month, the ATA will run a campaign to urge trucking operators and employees to get the facts and seek help early if they think they have depression,” he said.
“Depression is much more serious than feeling sad every now and then or having a bad day on the road. If you aren’t travelling too well, don’t be embarrassed to have a chat to your doctor. The sooner you recognise you’re not well, the sooner you can get treatment and be on the road to recovery.
CEO of beyondblue, Leonie Young, said: “We’re very pleased to work with the ATA to let people in the trucking industry know there are treatments for depression and anxiety that can help you recover.
“Less than half the people affected by depression seek help, because they don’t recognise the signs of depression, they don’t know where to get help, or they’re too ashamed to talk about how they feel.
“It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Talk to your doctor or contact the beyondblue info line on 1300 22 4636,” she said.


The ATA and beyondblue invite trucking operators to participate in ADA Month, including by:
• distributing beyondblue information and posters in workplaces and depots, available free from or by calling 1800 226 718 (free call).
• nominating a ‘wear blue’ day for staff to raise awareness of anxiety and depression.
• booking a beyondblue National Workplace Program workshop to help staff or managers recognise anxiety and depression in their colleagues.
• changing the company’s on-hold message during October to include information about
depression, beyondblue’s web address and info line number, 1300 22 4636.
The ATA’s awareness campaign will consist of feature articles in industry magazines, advice for truck drivers and trucking operators in the ATA’s e-newsletters and an information pack for operators on the ATA’s website.
The ATA has separately recommended to the National Transport Commission that depression screening should be included in the medical checkups undertaken by commercial drivers. Commercial drivers whose screening results suggested depression would be referred for help. The recommendation would not put their licenses at risk: drivers would continue to hold their licenses unconditionally unless restrictions became necessary under the medical standards that apply now.

Media contacts
Australian Trucking Association Stuart St Clair 02 6277 7680 / 0428 488 330
beyondblue Jane Gardner 03 9810 6100 / 0428 333 917
About the Australian Trucking Association
The ATA is the peak body that represents the trucking industry. Its members include state and sector transport associations, the Transport Workers Union, some of Australia’s largest logistics companies, and elected representatives of owner-drivers and small fleet operators.
About beyondblue
beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders in Australia

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