Ford encourages van drivers to break the silence on mental health

Ford has launched a national awareness campaign to encourage van drivers and passengers to speak more openly about their mental health.

In partnership with the mental health charity Time to Change, Ford is promoting the front seats of a van as a safe space for builders, delivery drivers and business owners to talk. 

“One in four of us go through mental health issues at some point in our lives, so it really affects us all, be it through personal experience or through the people we know,” said Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, Andy Barratt.

Ford has created a TV advert (above) to show that mental health doesn't have to be the elephant in the room, while Time to Change has come up with five tips as a starting point to help people to spot the signs and offer the necessary support.

“A vehicle is a great place to start talking because it’s like your own private bubble, where you’re on a journey together and you’re shoulder to shoulder,” says Ford engineer and employee champion, Matt Loynes, who came through the lowest point of his mental health issues with the support of a friend.

“This is about getting everyone on-board and making it part of the culture to take a moment to listen to friends, colleagues and family, to understand and to find the right help for them.”

Ford and Time to Change's tips for supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health

  • Text/Call Reach out – start small
  • Find a good time and place
  • Go for a coffee
  • Ask how they are – listen without judging
  • Treat them the same