In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week (held this year from 1 October 2018 to 7 October 2018), itâ€™s a good time to bring attention to the connection between mental health, stress and courier driver safety. Read on to find out about the new white paper that was recently launched by Venson Automotive Solutions on the connection, and the awareness campaign Ford Motors has started.
What is Mental Health Awareness Week?
MHAW was founded in 1990 and is, as the name suggests, an initiative to increase awareness, educate about mental illness and, in turn, reduce the stigma surrounding it. This year, the week focused on stress – especially stress within the workplace.
Why is This Important for a Courier Driver?
Studies have shown that driving is one of the most dangerous work activities an employee can undertake (itâ€™s on the same level as mining and even more dangerous than working in the construction industry), meaning that a courier driver has one of the most hazardous jobs around. Pair that with the fact that someone suffering from stress is 50% more likely to drive dangerously, and you can see why being aware of mental health issues is so important in the logistics industry.
Unfortunately, 56% of owners and courier drivers say that thereâ€™s still a taboo around discussing mental health at work. This means despite the dangers and hazards that come from this line of work, and despite the fact that stress makes them worse, it can still be difficult for employees to come forward and discuss whatâ€™s going on inside their heads.
How are Venson and Ford Helping?
Vensonâ€™s new white paper is shedding light on the subject by outlining the challenges businesses face, and asking them directly if they think their drivers are healthy and fit enough (both physically and mentally) to get behind the wheel without putting themselves or anyone else at risk.
Ford has also picked up on the trend by launching a national awareness campaign. Their goal is to get people to speak more openly about mental health in safe, non-confrontational spaces.
While the pros far outweigh the cons, it can be difficult being a courier driver. There are long hours spent behind the wheel and it can often be physically demanding work â€“ so itâ€™s no surprise all of that can easily take a toll on your mental health. However, holding onto that stress and refusing to talk about it doesnâ€™t do anyone any favours. You run the risk of getting so burnt out youâ€™re running on fumes â€“ not to mention all the dangers that come from driving under the influence of stress!
Take a page out of Vensonâ€™s new white papers and talk about it to someone. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with needing help. After all, you canâ€™t focus on the road if your stress is driving you crazy.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs for courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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