World Mental Health Day, held every year on 10 October, is a significant day in the calendar that aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and well-being. This years’ theme, ‘Mental health is a universal human right’, highlights the need for mental health support to be accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or profession.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. In the UK, approximately 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year. These can range from a common mental health disorder, such as anxiety and depression, to more severe and complex mental health illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
For those who drive for a living, such as truck drivers, bus drivers and delivery drivers, the impact of poor mental health can be particularly significant. Driving for hours on end can be a lonely and isolating experience, leading to feelings of anxiety and depression. Long working hours, tight schedule and the pressure to meet deadlines can also contribute to stress levels and take a toll on mental health.
It’s essential for employers to recognise the impact poor mental health can have on their employees and take steps to provide support.
This could include providing access to resources, offering flexible working arrangements, and encouraging an open and supportive company culture. By prioritising the mental health and well-being of their drivers, employers can help to ensure that they are happy, healthy and safe on the roads.
Talking about how Driver Hire support mental health, Sarah Kniveton, Marketing Manager, said, “If you’ve got a bad back or a heavy cold, it’s usually pretty clear to your colleagues and other people you interact with during your working day that you’re not 100%. But if you’re feeling ropey because of a mental health issue – for example stress or depression – it’s often not so obvious. And for too many people there’s still a stigma around mental health. We need to encourage people to talk about it more freely with others.”
The UK government has taken the steps to address mental health issues, including investing in mental health services and launching campaigns to reduce stigma. However, with still a long way to go to ensure that everyone who needs mental health support can access it. This is why Driver Hire support this cause and provide resources and support to drivers across the UK.
It is important to seek help if you are experiencing mental health problems, there are many resources available, including talking therapy, medication, and support groups. However being active – 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day can significantly help physical and mental health before or after starting shift.
Staying hydrated when out and about can also help stop the negative impact on your brain function, mood and energy levels. It can help to socialise with others on your breaks or after shift to help keep your mind active, whilst helping others and being out in the fresh air can also have a positive effect on your mental health.
View Driver Hire’s latest resource page, ‘Fit for the job‘, or other useful Links:
Professional drivers mental health resource: www.driverhire.co.uk/resources/professional-drivers-mental-health/
World Mental Health: www.mentalhealth.org.uk
Mental Health UK: mentalhealth-uk.org
Mindful Employer: www.mindfulemployer.dpt.nhs.uk