Can an automaker challenge the mental health stigma?

Multinational automaker Ford has partnered with Time to Change, a social movement aiming to change how we think about mental health, to launch their new “Elephant in the Room” campaign. They are aiming to promote good mental health by encouraging men across the world to not let their mental health be the elephant in the room.

Video Credit: Ford UK / YouTube

The Biggest Killer

Between 2003 and 2013 over 18,000 people took their own life as a result of poor mental health. Moreover, in England and Wales, suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49. It is, therefore, one of the biggest killers in the UK and yet it is still something many people struggle to address.

Challenging the Stigma

Ford, however, is taking on this challenge. They surveyed over 2000 of their customers, and the results showed that 56% of people have had important emotional conversations in a car; they feel more comfortable opening up because their car offers them a safe and secure environment. Ford, therefore, decided to launch their “Elephant in the Room” TV campaign that is targeted at encouraging young men to open up about their mental health.

A Powerful Message

Through their campaign, Ford are hoping to send out a powerful message. That being that if we are to notice that something is wrong with somebody whom we are interacting with, rather than ignore it we should be addressing it. They have also created 5 simple tips that people can follow:

  1. Reach out to someone via text or a phone
  2. Find a good time and place to chat
  3. Invite them for coffee
  4. Ask them how they are and listen without judgement
  5. Make sure to treat them the same

This story shows how Ford supports Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, specifically Target 3.4: “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.”

About Ford

Ford is an American multinational automaker. The company was founded in 1903 when it produced just a few cars per day. They now have over 200,000 employees working across 65 plants worldwide and they now produce one car every 10 seconds of every working day!

Learn more about Ford and Time to Change.

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