An industry-led scheme in the UK has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of mental health among van drivers.
Van Excellence, which is backed by the Freight Transport Industry (FTA), is partnering with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to address the stigma around mental health and raise awareness of the resources available for men, many working as drivers, who could be uncertain of where to obtain help and advice.
The scheme was launched at last week’s Fleet Live!Event and will see vehicle hire and leasing companies offering support packs and information to all customers. Crafted by Van Excellence in association with the charity’s key advisers, the packs promote CALM’s support services.
Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans and Light Commercial Vehicles at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which administers the scheme, explains why he launched the campaign: “When I heard suicide is now the biggest killer of men under 45, I was moved to take action. Van drivers often operate in highly pressured and lonely environments, and the combination of tight deadlines and isolation can lead to stress, exhaustion and poor nutrition.
“Van Excellence is committed to improving the wellbeing of all its drivers. We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from the industry; we’re so grateful to our first partners – Arval, Activa, Reflex Vans, Venson Automotive Solutions and Arnold Clark – for joining us on this journey and we look forward to welcoming more partners on board.
“Too often, individuals suffer in silence and we hope this campaign will help overcome the stigma associated with this illness and provide much-needed support.”
Simon Gunning, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), commented: “The work Van Excellence is doing to support drivers is outstanding and we’re delighted to be partnering with them. We believe the packs distributed to drivers will start plenty of conversations – some of which might just be lifesaving – so we’re proud to be getting the CALM message out across this community.”