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It’s Mental Health Awareness month and whilst the conversation around mental health is no longer taboo, there’s still work to be done!  

At Cross Country Carriers, we are proud to offer a safe and supportive environment for all our employees – and that includes mental health. Did you know that one of the biggest barriers stopping staff from accessing mental health support is social stigma and shame?

We make it our mission to combat this. Here are just a few tips on ways HGV drivers can look after their mental health and how you can support your employees who are suffering.

1. Stay Active

We know that winter is coming and that the days are getting shorter but, for drivers cooped up on long haul drives, it’s important to keep both your mind and body active. Vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of sunlight will be wreaking havoc on our brains, so it’s important that between shifts you’re doing everything you can to release the tension. This can be stretching out some muscles or a simple jog around the block.

2. Sleep

Did you know that low quality sleep can affect your mental health? We’re not just talking a bit of irritability, but a prolonged period of minimal sleep can actually affect your hormones. Similarly, if you wake up in the wrong part of the sleep cycle, it will affect your concentration throughout the day – something that is vital for HGV drivers and their mental health.

3. Talk

If you are suffering – talk to someone. By, just talking to someone, you’ll probably find that you’re not alone – that just having a joke with a colleague or getting out of your own head for a little will probably work wonders. Take it slowly and focus on the little wins.

So employers, what can you do?

1. Listen

Whilst not everyone will want to talk about it, you should encourage the conversation and create a culture where employees feel supported and are able to come to you or HR with a problem – specifically without fear or stigmas. Ensuring your employees feel like they have a voice and are being listened to will go a long way.

2. Put a Support Plan in Place

All our employees, should they be suffering, do have a support plan in place and the ability to call contact someone if they need it. Some companies choose a third-party company who work with your HR or the HR department directly. Either way, if they know they have a confidential, safe space to talk in, they are more likely do so!

So, whether you’re a HGV driver looking for a support or you’re wondering how to support your employees, there is still plenty to be done. Of course, if you are suffering and need more support please go and speak to a professional.

At Cross Country Carriers, we pride ourselves on providing a healthy working environment for our employees.