In a male-dominated transport sector, long hours and the isolation of long-distance driving and a poor work-life balance impacts negatively on mental health and relationships with families.
Middle-aged men traditionally were raised in a culture telling them to “man up” and hide their emotions as a stoic form of masculinity. This, coupled with the fact that drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for non-disclosure of a medical condition to the DVLA that may affect your driving, (including depression and the use of some antidepressants) has led to a huge stigma around mental health and a culture of silence.
- The charity Mind found that 30% of illnesses within the transport sector are mental health related.
- The number of men in their 40’s and 50’s taking their own lives has surged in the UK in the past decade. The Logistics Sector employs a high proportion of drivers within this age group.
- 83% of those working in the transport sector are men
- The Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the total number of men aged between 45 and 59 taking their own lives was almost 40 per cent higher in 2012 than it was less than a decade earlier.
- Men are less likely to seek help for mental health problems, leading to a much higher suicide rate.
The R U OK? project aims to change all that!
Beginning in early 2019, through a Facebook campaign, engagement with drivers’ forums, R U OK bumper stickers on trucks across the county and a driver drop-in, we are going to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health, provide an accessible service for those in the transport industry, and encourage good mental health!
We are working in partnership with the Release the Pressure campaign to provide 24/7 telephone support for employees of logistics and transport companies.
If you’d like to get involved or collaborate with us, contact us today!