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Community & Business

4 August, 2023

Truckies focus of new initiative

TO combat the growing mental health crisis affecting truck drivers and those driving in remote areas, Australia’s communication and safety brand GME has partnered with Rural Outreach Counselling to launch a new initiative for people on the open road to open up about their mental health.


Truckies focus of new initiative - feature photo

As part of the “Open Road Open Up” 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, 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. 

“For truck drivers in remote and regional areas, staying in touch can mean the difference between life and death,” GME safety expert Tony Crooke said.

Mr Hannifey said he knew only too well what truckies were going through.

“I know firsthand how hard it can be out there on the road alone,” he said.

“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 Mr Hannifey with the counselling strategies to support truckies and those in remote areas, he has received mental health resources and support through the Rural Outreach Counselling's  (ROC) MateKeeper Campaign. 

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 program. 

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