Automotive charity Ben has launched a new campaign to target loneliness for those working in the industry, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week.
The charity has unveiled its new ‘Space from Social Anxiety’ programme on the SilverCloud platform – designed specifically to help people find out about symptoms, understand its causes and develop coping strategies to manage their social anxiety.
The program, as with all of Ben’s SilverCloud programmes, is completely free, easy to use and can be worked through at your own pace in your own time.
It uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to develop coping strategies to help deal with life’s challenges.
Ben says the scheme is desperately needed following two years of disruption and periods of social isolation caused by the pandemic, in which loneliness became, in itself, an epidemic.
Its research also found that social anxiety is playing a major role in the rise of loneliness, making it difficult for people to meet socially with others, to reach out for help and to maintain relationships.
Ben’s recent Health and Wellbeing survey placed this issue in sharp focus. Of those in the automotive industry who were surveyed, 31 per cent confessed to having suffered from loneliness – a huge increase of 23 per cent from the previous year.
Loneliness saw a staggering increase in the over 45s, factory workers, and among those who have retired from the industry, while 1 in 2 automotive workers confirmed that they have issues managing their mental health – indicating that mental health struggles in the automotive industry are more prevalent than in the general population.
Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, said: ‘If you suffer from loneliness, you are not alone. Our recent survey highlighted the huge impact that Covid has had on the mental health of our community and loneliness and social anxiety have risen sharply over the past twelve months.
‘Our industry is one of the most affected by mental health issues, so we want everyone in the automotive community to know that while they may feel alone, they aren’t.
‘We are here, ready to help and support them through whatever challenges life may be throwing at them right now and in the future.
‘Social anxiety and loneliness can be managed and we have a number of ways we can support people who are struggling, including our new SilverCloud programme Space from Social Anxiety.
‘During Mental Health Awareness week, we want to reach out to our automotive family and offer them a helping hand. You don’t have to face loneliness or social anxiety alone.’
Anyone struggling with their mental health can contact Ben via their website.
Mental Health Awareness week began yesterday (May 2) and aims to raise awareness of issues surrounding mental wellbeing.
This year the chosen theme is loneliness, hence Ben’s decision to launch it’s latest campaign.