Putting mental health first
For companies, this can present a challenge. Recent research suggests that up to one in five drivers have poor mental health, with a third of them suggesting work is a contributing factor. You have a responsibility to help them; and you want to as well. They’re your friends and colleagues, after all.
Doing this also supports the bottom line, as stress and other mental health problems can lead to more incidents and accidents, downtime and sick leave.
We want to help you have conversations with your drivers about the challenges they face, so we have included a CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) pack in the LeasePlan Driver Pack we provide to all the vehicles we have on the road – almost 70,000 at the last count.
This is a continuation of work we have done for our own employees where we have introduced a team of mental health first aiders to support everyone’s wellbeing and act as advocates to the wider community. They increase awareness and help people find support – both internally and externally.
Paul Kirby, Head of Commercial Vehicles LeasePlan UK, comments
“Commercial vehicles are critical to our customers’ businesses – and when there’s a problem with a van, most would get it checked out straight away by a technician. But what about the driver? If they are sick due to stress or poor mental health, the cost can be even greater. We encourage fleet managers to keep drivers at the heart of their business, which includes urging drivers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stress; and to talk to someone if they need to. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.”
There is lots of useful information online about mental health. Here are a few sites that we find helpful:
- The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has insights and support on the causes of stress at work.
- Mind has a comprehensive A-Z of mental health conditions and support resources.
- Time to change has loads of workplace resources for employers, managers and employees.
- Blurt are dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of depression. Their site includes podcasts on emotional first aid and the role food plays in our mental health.
 Source: Mercedes Benz survey of 2000 drivers, 2017.