As part of its overall strategy to raise awareness of the importance of mental health Scania Australia celebrated the issue last week  culminating in RUOK? Day last Thursday, 12th September.

To focus attention on mental wellbeing, Scania staff at company-owned branches around the country and the Dealer Support Centre (Head Office) in Campbellfield, Victoria, wore  bright yellow RUOK? T-shirts and talked about mental health issues.

“Scania takes employee wellbeing and mental health very seriously,” says people and culture director, Michele Gellatly.

“We have a partner supplied Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which offers our employees a completely confidential range of health and wellbeing services.

“Mental health has a fundamental bearing on a person’s sense of self-worth and happiness, and at Scania we foster a very safe, friendly and respectful environment,” Michele says.

“However, there can be times in a person’s life when emotional, financial or work-related stress can spike, and that is why we offer the EAP service, to be able to help provide a pathway for our staff to receive assistance at the early stages, and get professional help to reduce their stress.

“During the mental health week, we will be providing our staff with positive mental health messages while reminding employees of the services available to them. Of equal importance, we want our employees to stop and ask their fellow colleagues and of course themselves, RUOK?” Michele says.

According to Mikael Jansson, Managing Director of Scania Australia, one of Scania’s core values is respect for the individual.

“We operate a very employee-friendly workplace, with a very diverse population drawn from every corner of the world,” Mikael says.

“Employee health and wellbeing is very important to us at Scania, we want our employees to be able to raise and discuss concerns or worries they may have, not only in their inter-staff relationships, but also issues occurring outside the workspace.

“Importantly, we want to encourage our employees to take action if they feel they need to talk to someone confidentially about their worries, to get help at the early stages, rather than holding off until things become too hard to handle,” he says.

During September, Scania will be placing the focus on health and wellbeing more generally, encouraging staff to form into teams to take on the challenge of Steptember, by logging 10,000 steps per day as part of a program to raise funds to help people with cerebral palsy get the specialised support services and equipment they need to build their independence, enhance their wellbeing, and live their best lives.

Steptemberis such a fantastic event to be part of because it helps us all to become more active, encourages friendly workplace competition, and raises money for a much-needed cause. Just 10,000 steps a day is all it takes to make a huge impact,” Michele says.

“The funds we hope to raise will also contribute to new cerebral palsy research projects, including a study to help prevent cerebral palsy in high-risk babies born prematurely.

“Australia is a world leader when it comes to cerebral palsy research. And, as Scania is a company that strives to be a leader across many areas of our industry, from safety to reducing our environmental impact, we’re all stepping out to do our bit to raise awareness and funds for this important cause as well,” Michele says.