Far too many people suffer mental health problems in silence. One common problem is simply that people never seem to find the right opportunity to discuss how they’re feeling.
Around one in four people in the UK experience mental health problems each year. Young men are particularly at risk, but research shows that only one in three men are prepared to talk openly about their feelings. A similar number said that they would be “embarrassed” to seek help for a mental health problem.
A vehicle can be a very private and therapeutic place to talk. With no interruptions and no need for intense eye contact, two-thirds of people questioned by Ford said that they were “more comfortable” talking about problems when in a vehicle.
“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.”
If you have a friend, loved one or colleague who is affected by mental health issues, it’s not always easy to know how to help.
To give you some ideas, Ford and Time to Change have created five ‘top tips’ that could help you spot the signs and offer the necessary support:
- 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