With World Mental Health Day putting the spotlight on mental wellbeing, telematics insurer ‘drive like a girl’, offers some timely tips for motorists suffering with mental health conditions to keep themselves and other road users safe.
World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10 every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health. According to the UK’s NHS, one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness, and many more know and care for people who face mental health issues.
Kelly Wilkins, head of customer service, at drive like a girl commented: “Mental health isn’t something to be embarrassed about and it is just as important as physical health when it comes to driving.
“If a person has a mental health condition, it is imperative they speak to their doctor as there are some conditions which need to be declared to their insurance provider, particularly if it affects their ability to drive.
“There will always be days which are worse than others and having a mental illness doesn’t mean you can’t drive safely. But you might need to take extra care on the road to stay focused and make sure you don’t become too unwell to drive.”
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Driving when tired can have the same effect as being over the drink-driving limit. Make sure you rest properly and consistently. Sleep also has a big impact on your mood – it’s hard to feel stable and calm with low energy levels.
2. Plan your journey
If you’re not feeling your best, you can ease your journey by planning it in advance. It’ll be easier to focus on safe driving when you know where you’re going. Make sure you also plan in sufficient breaks, if your drive is long.
3. Consider other ways to travel
Safety comes first. If you’re not feeling well and have doubts about your ability to drive, just don’t drive. Ask someone to give you a ride or catch a bus, whatever it takes to get to your destination safely.
4. Get help
If you’ve been feeling low for a while or you know that you have a mental health condition, there is always help available. Talk to your friends and family, tell your teacher, go to your GP or reach out to charities for advice.
Never risk your life, or somebody else’s, by getting on the road while feeling unwell. Make sure you’re fit to drive.