OzHelp, Monash University partner to reveal Health in Gear outcomes

Wednesday, 24 August, 2022

OzHelp, Monash University partner to reveal Health in Gear outcomes

Suicide prevention organisation the OzHelp Foundation (OzHelp) has partnered with Monash University to evaluate its Health in Gear transport and logistics worker wellbeing program, to determine its effectiveness and impact on the industry and where the program can continue to grow and improve.

Co-created with transport and logistics workers and the industry, the Health in Gear program focuses on the specific health and wellbeing support needs of truck drivers and their families. Nationally, truck drivers represent the second highest occupational group, after construction workers, at risk of suicide. The program provides 24/7 phone support (1800 464 327), roadside health checks and wellbeing support, self-help resources and counselling to workers and their families.

Monash University will provide an independent evaluation of Phase 2 of the Health in Gear program, consisting of roadside health checks, provision of accessible resources relating to health and wellbeing, and provision of the 24/7 support line for transport and logistics workers and their families. OzHelp CEO Hamish Thompson said the partnership with Monash University is an important step in the continued development of the program.

“The partnership with Monash will enable us to provide invaluable data to the wider transport and logistics industry of the value of health and wellbeing programs, such as Health in Gear, and the impact that it has had on workers and their families,” said Thompson.

Associate Professor Ross Iles, Deputy Director of the Healthy Working Lives Research Group at Monash University, said this evaluation report will be a crucial element to improving health and wellbeing within the industry. “Evaluation is essential to determine how effective a support program like Health in Gear is, who it is most effective for and how it may be improved. We know from our work on the Driving Health study that there are a raft of health challenges facing the transport industry, and we are excited to be examining the Health in Gear approach to finding a solution,” said Iles.

An interim report will be released by December 2022, with the full report available by April 2023. The report aims to achieve an understanding of the impact of the Health in Gear program on the health and wellbeing of workers and their families in the transport and logistics industry and provide recommendations on how the program can be expanded to reach more drivers nationally. The pilot Health in Gear program was partially funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative supported by the federal government, with contributions from OzHelp and industry partners.

Image credit: iStock.com/Martin Barraud

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