Ford has taken a very dirty Transit Custom and created a beautiful work of art for World Mental Health Day 2018. Continuing its ‘Elephant in the Transit’ campaign from earlier this year, the company is aiming to raise awareness about mental health issues and break the stigma attached.
Renowned dirty van artist Ruddy Muddy used the back doors and sides of the Transit Custom to depict elephants in awe-inspiring detail. Ford is working in partnership with the Time To Change campaign to improve knowledge of mental health issues and how to help people who suffer with them. If you need support, click the link at the bottom of the article.
Time To Change’s latest campaign is ‘Ask Twice’, which encourages people to double-check the well-being of a friend, family member or colleague.
“Our latest research shows that when asked how we are, three quarters of us will say ‘I’m fine’ even if we’re struggling with a mental health problem,” says Jo Loughran, Time To Change director. “This World Mental Health Day, we’re encouraging everybody to ask twice. Asking twice – ‘are you sure you’re ok?’ – means people are much more likely to open up in conversation.”
April’s ‘Elephant in the Transit’ campaign arose after Ford found that 67% of people said they would be more comfortable talking about issues in the confines of a vehicle. A car or van is a good place to start a difficult conversation because it’s a private bubble where you and your mate are together and shoulder-to-shoulder.
“We’re very pleased to see our unique ‘dirty van’ on the roads for World Mental Health Day,” said Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman. “By continuing to find new and disruptive ways to spread the Time to Change message, more and more people will hopefully start to communicate their mental health problems with those closest to them.”
So far, Ford has enrolled nearly 200 staff members on Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses, and aims to train another 50 employees as fully qualified mental health first aiders by the end of next year – five at each of Ford’s UK sites. You may see the dirty van in London, as it will join Sky’s fleet of vans in the capital.
Don't suffer in silence. The NHS has a full list of approved mental health helplines, which you can access here.