Driving better mental health for HGV drivers
We know that life on the road can sometimes be tough. From working long hours to being away from home, being an HGV driver can sometimes feel isolating. An estimated 41 per cent of ill health is caused by work-related stress, depression or anxiety in the transport and storage sector.
Feeling lonely can have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing, especially if those feelings have lasted a long time. Research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of experiencing certain mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. It can also lead to low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.
That’s why Moto Hospitality, in partnership with Mind and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), and with the support of the RHA, are launching a campaign called ‘cabversation’ to encourage HGV drivers to connect and talk to one another when taking a break at its service stations.
The partnership is helping the nation understand how much of a difference a meaningful connection with someone can make – giving them a bright spot in their day and an opportunity to connect and share how they’re feeling with others.
Connecting with others can help improve our mental wellbeing. It can create a sense of belonging and provide an opportunity for us to share experiences and offer emotional support to those around us. Making meaningful connections can help us to feel happier and more secure. Sometimes just having a chat is all it takes to lift our mood.
Website articles, social media content and digital signage at Moto sites across the country will encourage HGV drivers to connect and share how they are feeling with others. The campaign will utilise expertise from Mind and SAMH to provide HGV drivers with the tools to connect with others while on the open road and at Moto service stations.
As part of the campaign Moto have created a Cabversation hub with mental health tips, tools and resources all aimed at supporting the mental health of HGV drivers. They’re also being encouraged to use the 60 talking benches installed at Moto service stations across the UK, which provide a physical space for HGV drivers to start a ‘cabversation’ with one another.
We’ve pulled together some of our most useful information and resources for HGV drivers and other people who travel a lot for work to support the campaign.
Resources in this toolkit:
Tips to manage loneliness
Being alone in you cab for hours at a time can leave you feeling isolated. This page from Mind explores what loneliness is, and offers some tips and advice on how to manage these feelings. It includes some ideas on meeting new people, but also focuses on being comfortable in your own company.
Loneliness at work
Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Marmalade Trust, a charity dedicated to helping those who are experiencing loneliness, has created this guide to help you to combat loneliness in the workplace.
When you spend a lot of time on the road, it can be difficult to build physical activity into your day. But we know being active can have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing. This one-page guide from Unilever explores some ways that you can include physical activity into your routine even if you spend a lot of time travelling.
Guide to physical health
Does sitting down for a long time leave you feeling stiff or sore? Feeling good involves taking care of our physical as well as emotional health. This guide has tips on being physically active, musculoskeletal support, the working environment and health assessments.
We know talking about your own mental health can be difficult. This guide from Nuffield Health can help you to plan who to speak to, what to say, and how to move forward after telling your employer about your mental wellbeing.
Find out more about debt
More than 16% of UK adults currently have problem debt, and this can affect your mental wellbeing. The Bank Workers Charity have created a simple guide to debt, an explanation of why it matters, and some first steps you can take to help yourself.