Truckie's kind message for Aussies: 'It ain't weak to speak'
"IT AIN'T weak to speak" is the message this young truckie is trying to get out this Christmas season.
Cam Byrom, a driver from Combined Logistics in Perth in Western Australia, took to his Instagram page this week to encourage his colleagues, friends and family to check in on each other.
"A chat over a cuppa or a beer could be worth more than any gift you buy from the shops," he said, along with the hastag #thisisaconversationstarter.
When Big Rigs called Cam, he said he had a few mates who had had a few battles but was thankful that he hadn't lost any of them.
"I'm in a really good headspace at the moment and I know there are people that might not be," he said.
"I thought it (the Christmas holidays) might be a good opportunity to help some other people. It's extra important, even more so than usual. If you're around people and you're struggling it makes you feel extra isolated if you're not fortunate enough to have that support."
As for him and his friends, he said they were open in discussing their demons and things that they were going through with each other.
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Check in on your friends and family this holiday season, a chat over a cuppa or a beer could be worth more than any gift you buy from the shops. It ain’t weak to speak! Keep it safe on the roads too, and give your fellow travellers a wave 👋🏼🤙🏼✌🏼 #trademutt #thisisaconversationstarter #tiacs #ynwa
"I've probably got a few more friends that are more open than others but we're getting there. It's slow progress but we're getting there."
Cam said he worked for his mother and father's transport business and had been around trucks since he was a little kid.
"My parents are super awesome, and everyone is told that if you're struggling the doors are open and no one needs to be in such a rush that you can't chat if you need to."
He said that the company also did Funky Shirt Fridays, an initiative to start spreading the mental health message after he asked to start wearing high-vis TradeMutt shirts once a week.
TradeMutt, a Brisbane company started by two tradies, aims to bring more awareness to the conversation around mental health in men.
Cam said he thought the transport industry was slower than others when it came to talk about mental health, and he attributed it to the "old school" attitudes that some drivers held.
"We're all fighting the same battle, it's a tough gig. We're all away from our family and we need to help each other out. We're not going to solve the industry's problems in one conversation, but it'll help you feel better."