Senior figures from across the road haulage, warehousing and logistics sector will join a roundtable event tomorrow (Thursday 13 May) with Unite, to discuss how to tackle the growing mental health crisis in their sector. The meeting coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week.
The event, the first of its kind in the sector, will also involve the mental health charity Mates in Mind and an official from the Department for Transport (DfT). The event will be chaired by Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland.
Attending the roundtable event will be representatives from across the sector including: Biffa, ECM, Hanson UK Wincanton, Gist, DPD, DHL, Suttons, Logistics UK, CILT, FedEx and Veolia.
The aim of the roundtable event is to secure agreement for detailed research into mental health issues in the sector and begin work on agreeing an industry standard on how to tackle the problem and support workers who experience mental health challenges.
Unite reps in the sector have recorded a substantial increase in mental health concerns since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Factors likely to increase mental health issues in the sector include isolation and loneliness (for lorry drivers), long hours and shift work (which can effect relationships and family life).
In some areas of the sector a traditional macho culture can result in workers being reluctant to seek assistance.
“This is a very important event and it is fitting and appropriate it has been organised to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week,” said Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland.
“Unite’s reps have reported a huge increase in the number of members raising mental health concerns since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and in the road haulage and logistics sector they are determined to support positive mental health and make a real difference.
“The nature of the sector means that the mental health of workers is often challenged by the nature of the work they undertake.
“Tomorrow’s event will be a critical first step in beginning to tackle the mental health challenges in the sector,” she commented.
By Barckley Sumner
FIND OUT MORE: Contact Mates in Mind
Stay tuned to UNITElive for outcomes of the innovative roundtable meeting