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One in five van drivers suffers poor mental health

  • Mercedes-Benz Vans carried out the research
  • Promoting Mental Health Awareness Week 2017
  • Time pressures and traffic contributing factors

Mercedes-Benz Vans has undertaken research into the mental health of van drivers in contribution to Mental Health Awareness Week 2017. And the results are somewhat alarming.

Among the 2,000 van owners and operators asked, ‘almost one in five’ – that’s a fifth – describe their current mental health as ‘poor or very poor’.

Three-quarters of those respondents also said that ‘work is a contributing factor’.

Concerns over workload

Half of van drivers polled say increased time pressures (52%) and increased workload (50%) are distgressing their state of mind, while one in three blamed ‘job uncertainty’.

17% of delivery drivers also feel traffic congestion is having a negative impact.

What’s worst is that one in three who feel they are suffering haven’t spoken to their manager about their concerns – with more than one in 10 (12%) having not spoken to anyone at all.

Van drivers too isolated?

Mental Health Foundation spokesperson James Harris has this to say of Mercedes-Benz Vans’ research: ‘Compared to the national average, these figures indicate that van drivers are experiencing an increased rate of poor mental health.’

‘In part,’ he continued, ‘this may be explained by the pressures of the job, and the fact that van drivers can often be isolated.

‘This is important because we know that men are less likely to reach out for help, and are four times more likely to end their life by suicide. We need to create a culture in which anyone experiencing problems can ask for help in the knowledge that they will be supported.’

What to do if you feel your mental health is suffering

Mercedes-Benz Vans UK managing director, Steve Bridge: ‘Our research findings act as a clear call to van drivers to talk about their mental health concerns and work pressures with their employers and for employers to actively listen to the real concerns of their workforce not only during Mental Health Awareness Week but beyond.’

Bridge added: ‘With a continued surge in online shopping, an increased reliance on same-day deliveries and spiralling traffic volumes across the UK, the real-world pressures on van drivers are changing.’

None of this helps if you’re a one-man (or woman) van-driving band – but in that situation you can find more information about how to look after your mental health at www.mentalhealth.org.uk