Mental Health Amongst HGV Drivers

World Mental Health Day – Thursday 10th October 2019

Mental health is an issue that affects all kinds of people, from all kinds of cultures, in all kinds of countries.  Living with mental health issues can leave people feeling hopeless, tired and negative and it’s reported that 1 in 6 adults suffer from mental health conditions at any given time.

In recent years there has been a clear growth in the concern of people’s mental health and ways in which it can be dealt with.  However, there is still a massive stigma around talking about mental health issues, especially in the HGV/LGV community, as it can be considered a weakness.  Around 30% of self-reported work-related illnesses in the HGV and logistics community is due to stress, anxiety, and depression.

How can mental health conditions affect you?

As an HGV driver, your job involves a lot of strenuous hours of driving and potentially spending a lot of time away from your family, these can both be big causes of mental health issues.  The nature of HGV driving can leave workers feeling extremely isolated, combined with a lack of sleep extremely stressed.

Perhaps the scariest part of someone dealing with mental health is that it isn’t visible, it can creep up on anyone and affects thousands of people.  Dealing with stress and anxiety could potentially have an effect on your driving performance and as an HGV driver, you are part of one of the biggest industries in the world, so without you, a lot of businesses would come to a halt.

What can you do?

One of the most important things you can do is talk.  Talking to others whether it be a colleague, family member or a helpline is the first step to helping yourself.  The reason it is important to talk about your mental health problems is because it allows you to speak your mind and vent about what you are dealing with.  It is extremely common to feel alone, especially when driving an HGV so, by talking to someone it shows there are people who care about what you have to say.

Secondly, ensuring you maintain a good diet and exercise as much as you can will help you become more positive.  It can be hard with the lifestyle and working hours of a logistics driver to eat healthy and exercise but, it is vital you try you’re best to be active and healthy. 

What to look out for in others?

If you are worried or concerned about someone and think they may be dealing with mental health issues, there are some signs you can look out for:

  • Change in behaviour.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lack of self-confidence.
  • Distancing themselves.

These are only a few ways in which you can potentially tell if someone is dealing with mental health issues.

Places That can Help

One thing that you can do to seek help is speak to your local GP.  If you think you’re struggling with mental health book an appointment with your local doctors.

There are a number of helplines that are available for people who are struggling with mental health issues. The first being “MIND” who are a mental health charity, that provides support and advice to people who suffer from mental health problems.

Click the link below to visit their website.

https://www.mind.org.uk/

There is also a list of mental health helplines on the NHS website which is linked below.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

It is important that we, the HGV community shed more light on mental health problems and the fact that it affects a lot of people.  It could potentially be affecting a person you work with every day.  This problem can take a long time to deal with but, the quicker you speak out, the quicker it can be resolved.  We need to stick together and most importantly don’t be afraid to talk.

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