The Reasons Why Driver Mental Health is Important
There are around half a million HG V drivers who have reported suffering from work-related anxiety and stress according to HS E. This number has been rising as the years go on. Around 30% of all self-reported work-related illnesses in the transport industry are the result of depression, anxiety and stress. The problem is that there is a stigma attached to mental health and 95% of workers who call in sick due to this will cite a different reason for the absence. Of the 22% of workers who have been diagnosed with a mental health problem, less than half have told their employers.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Mental health was a very taboo subject and you could not talk about issues that you were struggling with. It was also seen as unseemly to admit to having mental health issues. This has changed and discussions about mental health are more common and have a more positive spin. However, without these positive conversations and care, the transport industry could lose a lot of qualified drivers who have taken their CPC test. There is also the fact that mental health issues have cost the UK transport industry around £100 billion. HG V drivers are faced with a lot of songstress that could cause mental health problems.
There are the long working hours, tight deadlines, traffic, night shifts and the mental as well as physical fatigue that comes with the job. The lack of ability to exercise will also play a role as exercise is one of the natural anti-depressants available to us. All of these factors combined will create a stressful and difficult working environment. It is also important to note that gender does play a role. Statistically, men will be less likely to talk about their mental health problems when compared to women. This is the case in most industries, but it is more prevalent in transport. This creates a sense of isolation which will cause conditions such as depression to worsen when they are not treated.
The most prevalent of the mental health issues reported by HG V drivers is loneliness and this is not very surprising. Drivers are generally away from home and their families for prolonged periods of time and this separation will take a toll on them. A lot of drivers also report that they feel they do not have a personal life and that seeing their families only for short periods of time takes a toll on their mental well-being.
How Can You Help?
You might be wondering how you can ensure that your own mental health is being taken care of. Fortunately, there are some tips that you can use to help with this. The first is to talk about it and you will find that this can make more difference than you imagine. The saying that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is very true when it comes to this and talking about the problem can go a long way to resolving it. There is still a culture around mental health that means me in particular feel they should not talk about this. However, trying to solve mental health problems alone can make them worse.
If you are suffering, you should talk to your manager or a co-worker about what you are going through. You should also talk about what you need to get to a better mental place. You should also make the most of the time you have with your family. Depending on the driving that you take on, you may not be able to spend a lot of time with your family or as much as you would like. This is why you need to make the most of the little time you do have so your entire family can benefit from it. If you have children, it is important to note that they will often remember the quality of the time you spend with them and not the amount.