Mental health problems are nothing to be ashamed of. It is believed that depression is among the most common mental illnesses globally, affecting more than 1.9 million people in Kenya alone. This can be detrimental to businesses contributing towards a high staff turnover, loss of productivity and lack of motivation.
Statistics show truck drivers with moderate-severe depression vs. no/minimal depression tended to have been in the occupation for a shorter period of time. Drivers are faced with frequent long driving hours, working to tight delivery schedules and time spent away from the family all of which can take their toll on the mental well-being of drivers.
Challenges of meeting deadlines, or knowing that a job is going to take much longer than anticipated, can lead to stress. As a result, multiple bouts of stress over long periods can lead to other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety or even suicidal thoughts and physical problems such as heart attacks.
It is important to spot the signs and take the necessary steps to create a healthier workforce. Mental issues are likely to cause distracted driving. Lack of a clear focus while driving can have an adverse effect on judgment and concentration, increasing the chances of having an accident.
In the past decade, cases of suicide in the country have risen at an alarming rate of 58 per cent with data showing that more men are likely to die through suicide than women. So considering that truck drivers are mostly men, there are tell-tale signs that fleet managers can look for to help determine the well-being of employees who are behaving out of character. RiverCross’ Watchtower East Africa; Driver and vehicle wellness is a service that can help you check and report back in case of an anomalies.
To detect mental health issues, roadside wellness checks would be an important entry point for every fleet manager. RiverCross’ Driver wellness has set up clinics on major routes and borders to report on fatigue driving, sobriety checks, over speeding, diversions e.tc. These are some of the signs to look out for if someone is struggling with mental issues. Fleet managers can incorporate this service with medical professionals to provide mental health support to their drivers.