Stars from sport are inspiring us to speak about our mental health and well-being – more than any other profession in the country according to the latest research from Mercedes-Benz Vans. But exactly how are the UK’s van community being encouraged by the sporting elite?
The far-reaching power of sport
An overwhelming 80% of the van community across the country say they feel they can talk more openly about mental health after listening to their sporting heroes open up about their struggles. This is a positive step for the van community, as 41% said they suffer with stress inside of work.
Sportsmen, sportswomen and athletes are said to ‘inspire’ 46% of van community, which is more than any other profession – including firefighters, doctors, police workers, actors, singers and politicians.
Having someone in your corner
The power of sport is further highlighted by the fact that it inspires individuals even more than receiving encouragement from parents, partners and their children. The research revealed that sport stars are helping to encourage healthier eating, as well as prioritising physical and mental well-being.
Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, commented:
“Stars of sport can have a positive effect on the public’s mental health and wellbeing by sharing their own stories to highlight that mental health impacts everyone… To see how these elite athletes have banished their demons and turned their lowest periods around, clearly helps others and shows that there can be light during dark times.”
Overcoming knocks with the help of professional boxers
For this Business Barometer report, we’ve teamed up the with former WBO cruiserweight champion, Enzo Maccarinelli, an inspirational figure who’s had to face extremely challenging situations both in the boxing ring and in life. He’s a great example of a sports person using their own experiences to encourage others to speak out about mental health.
In 2012 he lost his father, and his son was diagnosed with autism. The 39-year-old from Swansea draws on his experience of this difficult time to help others. He now runs a boxing gym in his hometown of Bon-y-maen, where he gives rising stars advice on how to speak about their feelings – which has become even more meaningful after a young protégé took his own life 18 months ago.