Mental health is still a subject we like to avoid, often we prefer to suffer in silence rather than open to how we are feeling. This is a wide issue within the transport and logistics sector, and a taboo subject amongst drivers. We are here to tell you that help is out there, and it is important to reach out and receive the support you are entitled too.
Recent statistics from mental health charity Mind showed that 30% of self-reported work-related illness in the transport and logistics industry is due to stress, depression and anxiety. Additionally, 22% of workers have been diagnosed with a mental ill health, but less than half of those have told their manager.
Given how many drivers there are in the UK, then the true number could be huge, especially considering that, statistically, one in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in a year.
But while the reasons people don’t talk about mental health can be complex, often it boils down to stigma. Despite mental health being talked about in society more than it ever has been before, stigma still persists with some people.
This needs to be challenged because it is a problem that cannot be swept under the carpet any longer in the industry as the costs – human and monetary – are too great.
Most importantly, mental health is affecting the lives of thousands of people – and it isn’t just the person themselves, it impacts on their friends, families and colleagues too. People often ignore their symptoms until their problems escalate and they reach a crisis point. But, as with many physical health complaints, the sooner you seek treatment, the quicker the recovery time and the better the outcome.
Often, the first step on the road to recovery is opening up and talking about it to someone – be it a family member, friend, colleague or healthcare professional. While that may be a difficult step to make, it is vital.
Here are some tips to make your driving career a happy and comfortable place:
- Take a home comfort on your journey with you – A family photo, home made food, a cushion or even a family member on their free days (If allowed)
- Listen to your favourite music, compile a playlist of all your feel-good songs
- Download your favourite book or listen to podcasts of subjects you find interesting or funny
- Stop and take breaks at clean and sociable truck stops
- Eat a balanced diet
As a recruiter or employer our top tip would be to produce a guide to how staff can find easy and discreet ways to get the help they need. If you need support in developing and distributing information to staff we can help you.