CALM drivers - web

Highways England is backing the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to help raise awareness of mental health issues, focusing on commercial vehicle drivers.

It has produced a range of windscreen stickers and leaflets encouraging anyone suffering in silence to talk to someone and giving details of where to go for help.

Mark Cartwright, head of commercial vehicle incident prevention at Highways England, said commercial vehicle drivers were especially vulnerable as they spent long periods alone behind the wheel.

"This has resulted from long discussions with the CALM suicide prevention charity," said Cartwright. "It is a horrible statistic but suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 and that probably covers 75% of truck and van drivers in the UK.  They are also a community that has the pressures of working on the road network, pressure of time and not being the best paid people in the world.

"These pressure have been amplified with the coronavirus restrictions."

Through its Driving for Better Business initiative Highways England has ordered 20,000 packs which will be available from mid-November and the RHA is planning to stock the material in its online shop. It is free of charge but Cartwright is encouraging operators to donate "a couple of pounds" direct to CALM for every pack they order.

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