Event seeks to commemorate truck drivers lost to suicide

Friday, 28 October, 2022

Event seeks to commemorate truck drivers lost to suicide

The Grinding Gears, Burning Diesel Lifeline North Coast Truck Convoy is an annual event that will take place on 12 November 2022. The trucks will set off from the Woolgoolga Industrial area and arrive at the Coffs International Stadium. Over 150 local trucks, drivers and community will come together to show support for mental health, to raise awareness of suicide, and to remember Tom Seccombe, Mark Haines and others lost to suicide.

The event was conceived after a survey of truck drivers, led by Monash University, found that half of all truck drivers suffered psychological distress. The study, conducted from 2018–21, revealed that the percentage of drivers aged under 35 suffering severe distress was almost double that of the average Australian male of the same age. It also found that suicide had fast become the second leading cause of death for truck drivers under the age of 39.

Eno Taylor, a Lifeline North Coast Ambassador, forecasted that the event would be bigger and more amazing than last year, and will keep growing in years to come. “If you want to be involved in the convoy, on-the-ground event help or simply donate, head over to Lifeline North Coast’s page and find out how you can be a part of an incredible day,” Taylor said.

Angela Martin, Acting CEO for Lifeline North Coast, said the pressures associated with being a truck driver are “well-known” and contribute to an increased risk of multiple physical and mental health conditions. “We wish to show support for the truck drivers and their families who sacrifice so much, to ensure we have food on our tables; let’s show them that the Coffs Community cares as well as raise much-needed money to help with the operational costs of running our crisis support phone line, and developing much-needed support services for our truck drivers,” Martin said.

The event organisers are encouraging local families to show support roadside by cheering on the drivers as the convoy makes its way down the Pacific Highway.

Those interested in registering for the free event can do so by clicking here.

Image credit: Lifeline North Coast

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