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Although one in four truck drivers will have mental health issues at some point in a year, talking about mental health is still considered a taboo among drivers. While the stigma associated with mental illness has drastically reduced over the years; it is still there which causes a problem as a percentage of serious as mental health issues are being ignored or untreated.
The Mental Health Charity Mind has released statistics which showed that 30% of self-reported work-related illness in the transport and logistics industry is due to stress, depression and anxiety. Although that number is considered high, it could be higher as most people don’t seek the help they require. 95% of people calling in sick will not give the real reason for their absence from work if it is due to stress or anxiety; they will instead say they have a physical illness.

mental health issue HGV driver

Also, 22% of workers diagnosed with mental illness but less than half of them have reported it to their supervisor or manager. This number could even be higher considering the number of drivers in the country. Drivers will rather keep it in and try to deal with it without seeking professional help or treatment which worsens their conditions, and they suffer unnecessarily as a result.
There are various reasons why people do not want to talk about their mental wellbeing, but for most, it is because of the stigma associated with it. Although the subject of mental health is more openly talked about these days, the stigma persists with some people.

The transport and logistics industry cannot afford to ignore the state of the mental health amongst drivers any longer, as the cost of this is severe, both humanly and financially. It is said that businesses lose between 70- 100 billion each year due to employees taking extended sick leaves because of mental health issues. It is crucial that employers give their employees training and awareness on mental health issues. When people know what signs and symptoms they should look out for, they can quickly spot the signs in themselves and others and get help at the right time.
Mental health issues affect the lives of the drivers in its totality which includes their friends, families and colleagues. Most people ignore their symptoms which causes the problem to escalate until it becomes a crisis. The mental health of drivers is just as important as their physical health and the sooner you consult a doctor and seek treatment, the quicker the recovery time.

Most people who experience mental health issues live in denial for a long period of time which only worsens the situation. However, the first step on the road to recovery is accepting to yourself and others that you have a problem. Open up and talk to someone you trust about it, that person can be a spouse, friend or doctor. Opening up to others maybe scary and difficult, but it is the most vital step on your recovery journey. Mental ill health is nothing to be ashamed; it is the same as physical illness and should be treated as such.

Specialised HGV’s marketing manager, Prath Kamat, said: “Over time we realised that the best way to address these issues among the drivers, is to talk about them”.
He added: “We are working towards designing a special module designed to talk about how to overcome the mental health issues in our Driver CPC training. We have also designed a special guide which we have included in the training packs, explaining how to manage your HGV truck driving hours professionally and keeping a track on your mental health. If you have a copy of it, it should definitely help you.”

If you’re facing any mental health issues that you’re unable to talk about, please get in touch, and our team will make sure you get all the help we can to help you get into recovery.

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