New research from Mercedes-Benz Vans has revealed one in three UK van drivers suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter months. With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with former Liverpool and England footballer, Chris Kirkland, to raise awareness of SAD before the clocks go back on Sunday 27th October.
It’s time to take SAD seriously
Teaming up to tackle mental health
During a seventeen-year career, six-foot-six goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland, played at the very highest level – representing Liverpool and England, as well as having spells at then Premier League clubs Coventry, West Bromwich Albion and Wigan before playing in the Championship with Leicester, Doncaster, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston.
However, at the end of his playing days, Chris disclosed his secret four-year battle with anxiety, which started after his move from Wigan to Sheffield Wednesday in 2012.
Being away from his wife and daughter played on his mind, and the commute from the north-west to South Yorkshire was proving too much. Despite this, he played at Hillsborough for three years without his mental battles affecting his performances on the pitch.
Using tactics to cope with mental health issues
It was at his final club, Bury, where Chris Kirkland thought about committing suicide while at a training camp in Portugal. It was then he decided to call time on his career and bravely admit he was suffering with mental health issues. But his battle is far from over. Just a few months ago, Chris took to Twitter to reveal he was seeking help at a rehabilitation centre in North Wales.
It’s Chris’s mission to get more men talking about their mental health, which is why Mercedes-Benz Vans have teamed up with him. In addition to encouraging discussion, we’re sharing the tactics used by the nation’s van drivers to feel less tired on the road during the winter months.
- The most common method for van drivers to alleviate tiredness when driving is by taking a break, and the second most common technique was simply winding down a window
- 61% pack a snack to give themselves a boost
- And 53% of 16-24 year olds consume coffee to help
Chris reached out to those around him when he realised his health was becoming a concern, and is an advocate of people talking more about their mental health struggles. However, if the condition continues to be a problem, a trip to the GP is a sensible step.
By being aware of SAD, van drivers can take steps like these to reduce the dangers it creates.
How do you cope during the winter?