Reflex backs CALM Driver campaign to raise mental health awareness
Reflex has pledged its support to the CALM Driver campaign, which will raise awareness of mental health among drivers and provide support after research showed they are more likely to encounter problems
Reflex Vehicle Hire has pledged its support to the CALM Driver campaign, which has been launched to support van and truck drivers suffering from poor mental health.
Experts warn that van and truck drivers of all ages are at greater risk of having mental health issues amid stresses such as unpredictable journey times, traffic congestion, tight deadlines, a high workload, and lack of social interaction.
Reflex Vehicle Hire is supporting Highways England, Driving for Better Business and mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) by distributing special vehicle packs containing guidance for drivers.
Reflex fleet vehicles will also be equipped with stickers that provide details of a telephone helpline and website that drivers can use. The website also has a live chat service.
The initiative was launched after research by the Office for National Statistics revealed that the suicide rate for van drivers is 25% higher than the national average and 20% higher for truck drivers.
Lisa Spong, Reflex Vehicle Hire Sales Director, said:
“Reflex Vehicle Hire prides itself on running a safe and compliant fleet, as well as putting customers’ safety above all.
Introducing the CALM Driver stickers within the vehicle cab provides us with additional comfort that should a driver need to speak to someone during difficult times, access to help is with them through every journey.
We hope to break the stigma surrounding mental health and adopting this initiative within our vehicles is one step closer to making that change.”
The initiative is the latest step in a wide-ranging programme of driver support provided by Reflex Vehicle Hire as part of its Welfare of Reflex Drivers programme (WORD).
WORD is focused on helping our clients to talk more openly with their drivers about health and wellbeing and recognises that external factors, such as depression, can have a direct impact on a person’s performance in the workplace.
Working with our Flexiprofiler driver risk profiling service, drivers can discuss how they are feeling in an informal environment, which in turn can prompt help and guidance should they need it.
Mark Cartwright, Head of Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention at Highways England, said:
“Drivers who get behind the wheel when they are exhausted, unwell or distracted by personal issues are less effective and more likely to be involved in an incident; the importance of mental health cannot be underestimated.
We urge anyone in this situation - and business leaders - to seek out the support available. We are grateful to Driving for Better Business and CALM for highlighting this important issue.”
Driving for Better Business has produced 20,000 driver information packs for employers to place in their vehicles.
Simon Gunning, Chief Executive Officer of CALM, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Highways England and Driving for Better Business on the CALM Driver campaign to help people who drive for work.
By opening the door to the millions of van and truck drivers up and down the country we can continue to play an important role in challenging the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, and take another step forward in creating long-term cultural change.”
As part of the campaign, England Rugby player Joe Marler has produced a video message aimed at UK van and truck drivers to support them during these challenging times.
Driving for Better Business, a government backed programme to reduce work-related road risk, has commissioned comedian and mental health advocate John Ryan to write and produce a short video, ‘Man v Van’, to remind drivers that checking their own mental health daily is just as important as checking their vehicle.
If your business would be interested in finding out more about the initiative or signing up to the scheme to receive the free resources, check out the Driving for Better Business website here.
If you need help or support, then contact CALM through its website, www.thecalmzone.net/help, which includes a live chat service, or call the helpline between 5pm and midnight on 0800 585 858.