Driving for Change: An Online Video Game to Improve Mental Health Among Victorian Taxi Drivers

  • Project Leader

    Dr Sandra Davidson
    T: +61 3 9035 8021
    E: sdav@unimelb.edu
    W: Personal web page

    Location: Department of General Practice, Primary Care Research Unit, 200 Berkeley Street, Carlton Victoria 3053.

Project Details

Many men, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, have low levels of help-seeking for mental health problems and are usually outside the scope of community-based mental health interventions. One approach to delivering mental health interventions to hard to reach groups is by focusing on occupational settings with a high proportion of the target population - in this case, the Victorian taxi industry, where 92% of Victorian taxi drivers are male and 2/3 are born overseas.

Taxi drivers have many risk factors for poor mental and physical health, including high levels of stress, unregulated competitors, threats to personal safety, verbal and physical abuse, long and irregular working hours, unstable income, sedentary lifestyle, changing regulations and lack of bargaining power. High levels of migration may contribute to a lack of supportive social networks among this group. Despite all these risk factors, very little is known about the mental health of people who work in the taxi industry and there are no existing interventions aimed at improving their wellbeing.

The Victorian Taxi Association (VTA) and our multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Melbourne are working together to find out more about the health of Victorian taxi drivers. We will use this information to identify opportunities to improve the health of people working in the taxi industry.

Final results will be available early 2017.


Dr Sandra Davidson, Principal Investigator, Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)
Professor Jane Gunn, Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)


Dr Greg Wadley, Engineering: Computing and Information Systems (University of Melbourne)
Dr Nicola Reavley, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (University of Melbourne)
Ms Penni Russon, Centre for Youth Mental Health (University of Melbourne)
Victorian Taxi Association, www.victaxi.com.au


Melbourne Networked Society Institute Seed Funding

Research Outcomes

Davidson S. Driving for Change. The health and wellbeing of Victorian taxi drivers. September 2015. Victorian Taxi Association Annual Conference. Bendigo, Australia.

Davidson S. Wadley G. Reavley N. Russon P. Gunn J. What are the health needs of taxi drivers? July 2016. Society of Academic Primary Care. Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Davidson S. Wadley G. Reavley N. Russon P. Gunn J. The Driving for Change Project: Partnering with the Taxi industry to improve the health of men from culturally diverse backgrounds. June 2016. Primary Health Care Research Conference. Canberra, Australia.

Research Group

Mental Health

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice

Unit / Centre

Mental Health