THE FORD Transit may be the self-professed “Backbone of Britain“, and “white van man” a key pillar of both our economy and society, but that doesn’t mean our delivery drivers, rescue workers and small business owners are immune from the effects of mental health.
Ford has created the advert above, which features two men in a Transit, with the driver noticing something isn’t quite right with his colleague. Rather than ignore it, the driver pulls over so the pair can discuss the issue.
Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director, said: “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.
“As the market-leading car and van brand in the UK, Ford is an important part of society and we want to use that relationship to reach as many people as possible and encourage them to ask one simple question – ‘is everything OK?’.”
Barratt and Charles Bilyeu, CEO of Ford Credit Europe Bank, have both signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, which commits employers to increasing the mental health support available to employees, working in conjunction with Mental Health First Aid England.
Matt Loynes, a Ford engineer and who came through a low in mental health with the support of a friend, said: “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.
“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.”
Sue Baker OBE, Director of Time to Change, said: “We’re delighted that Ford is committed to improving attitudes towards mental health. Their support will help hit home the message that we all have a role to play in looking out for one another’s mental health. As Ford’s public awareness film highlights, talking about mental health doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room.”
“Having a mental health problem can be incredibly isolating, but knowing that there are people around you who care, and will listen without judgement, can make all the difference,” continued Sue Baker OBE, “If you’re worried about a friend, loved one or colleague, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask them how you can help.”
Ford is encouraging anyone who would just like to find out more, or has a friend, family member or colleague that they are worried about, to get advice from the Time to Change website: www.time-to-change.org.uk.
Ford and Time to Change’s five ‘top tips’ to help approach signs of mental health issues
- 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