Truck radio supplier GME weighs in on mental health

GME and Rural Outreach Counselling have joined forces in a new campaign to help truck drivers deal with mental health challenges they may face while living a life on the road

To combat the growing mental health crisis affecting truck drivers and those driving in remote areas, GME says it has partnered with Rural Outreach Counselling to launch a new initiative for people on the open road to open up about their mental health.

As part of the initiative, UHF CB Channel 24 will be used as a free support network for those who need it. By tuning into Channel 24 on a GME radio, the company says truckies will be able to access mental health support delivered by mental health advocate and truck drivers, spearheaded by driver and road safety advocate, Rod Hannifey.

Recent Government research has uncovered the devastating impacts of the often thankless job of truck driving, showing that mental health issues are among the top three most common medical conditions for truck drivers, with one in two drivers reporting some level of psychological distress.

The Open Road Open Up initiative aims to break the stigma of mental health by turning the unavoidable, lonely open road into a place where truckies can open up. 

GME safety expert, Tony Crooke, says support networks make a world of difference to long-haul drivers. 

“For truck drivers in remote and regional areas, staying in touch can mean the difference between life and death. GME is proud to partner with Rural Outreach Counselling, and Rod Hannifey to launch ‘Open Road, Open Up’, an initiative that we hope can help change the statistics surrounding truckies’ mental health through the power of a UHF radio.” 

Truck Driver and Mental Health Advocate, Rod Hannifey, says he proud to support other truck drivers. 

“I know firsthand how hard it can be out there on the road alone. I have seen friends struggle with their mental health because they don’t have the opportunity to open up properly and talk about their feelings. I want truck drivers to know, if you see my truck, tune in. I’m here on Channel 24 to have a chat whenever you feel like talking.” 

To equip Rod with the counselling strategies to support truckies and those in remote areas, Hannifey has received mental health resources and support through the Rural Outreach Counselling’s MateKeeper Campaign. Rural Outreach Counselling sees firsthand the impact that long working hours, isolation, and time away from family and friends has on truck drivers, as well as others working and living in rural communities. 

More trucks will be rolling out across Australia with ‘Open Road, Open Up’ signage over the coming months. GME and ROC will also expand the initiative by training more truck drivers to be part of the programme.

President, Rural Outreach Counselling, David Post, says their program is all about supporting isolated communities and individuals. 

“We know that staying connected and having open conversations can have a massive benefit in fighting mental health challenges.

“That’s why one of our main goals at Rural Outreach Counselling is to be able to offer support to those in rural communities who are less likely to speak to GPs or other services. 

“Open Road, Open Up is an initiative we are proud to be a part of, allowing truck drivers to get the necessary support in the most Aussie way possible. We are looking forward to our ongoing partnership with Rod and GME to support Truck drivers across Australia,” Post says.

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