Ford Shows It Really Is Good To Talk.

“Everything we do is driven by you” was once Ford’s advertising slogan. Now Ford UK have gone a step further and by joining forces with mental health charities’ Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, they are aiming to reduce the stigma associated with mental health

One in four people in the UK experiences mental health problems. Young men have been identified as a vulnerable demographic. The statistics are worrying. Around a third of men would talk freely about their feelings while less than a third said they were too embarrassed to seek help with half saying that isolation is worse than the condition itself. It’s clearly time 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. “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?’.”

So what has this got to do with a car manufacturer? Research carried out by Ford UK concluded that 67% of people said they were far more comfortable talking about their problems within a vehicle.

Ford engineer and employee champion, Matt Loynes, who came through the lowest point of his mental health issues with the support of a friend says “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,”

And their research is not wrong. Think of Peter Kay’s “Car Share” in as much as two people, in a car sharing experiences. It’s more than listening to music, going for a drive and talking to yourself. By talking to someone else you can open up. The vehicle is a safe environment to be in. No one else is there with you except you and a mate and if it helps, those moments of silence can be broken up with a song.

“We’re delighted that Ford is committed to improving attitudes towards mental health,” said Director of Time to Change, Sue Baker OBE. “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.”

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Follow the link to Ford’s simple yet effective national public awareness video:

Ford and Time to Change have also come together to create five ‘top tips’ as a starting point to help people across Britain to 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

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About the author: Stuart M Bird

Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It's a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
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