Automotive charity Ben received 78% more people asking for help with their mental health and wellbeing over the past year, compared to the period before.
Ben suggested the surge in enquiries may have been due to increased awareness about these issues in the news and the charity’s own awareness campaign, Hats on 4 mental health.
The motor finance industry has also been doing its part in raising issues around mental health, with the Finance & Leasing Association sponsoring two reports on vulnerable customers, which includes – but isn’t limited to – those with mental health issues.
The charity made the revelation in its Impact Report 2016-17, which also revealed that almost half (49%) of people who contacted Ben did so due to financial health.
This was an increase of 11%, and low income was reported as the biggest financial challenge for those working in the automotive industry.
The report covers between April 2016 and March 2017, during which time Ben said it helped over 3,000 people working in the automotive industry with their financial, social, physical and mental health, which is 14% more than the previous year.
The charity reported 6.5% repeat cases (people requesting help with the same issue more than once) in 2016-17, compared to 32% repeat cases in 2015-16.
Over the same period, Ben’s fundraising income increased 10% year-on-year, and it now is among the five most popular payroll giving companies, receiving a total of £662,000 from over 13,000 individual donors.
Zara Ross, Ben’s chief executive, said: “We’re proud to publish our annual Impact Report for 2016-17 which offers clear information to the industry about the biggest issues that people working in our sector are facing. It provides insightful, powerful data which informs the industry about the most serious concerns for the workforce and thus the industry as a whole.
“The report also shows the real positive differences Ben has made to peoples’ lives. We have seen growth in two key areas across the business – the number of people we have supported and our fundraising income. We are very grateful to all of our supporters who have helped raise awareness and funds to enable us to continue to support the automotive industry and its people. Ben is an integral part of the UK automotive industry, supporting and equipping people with the tools they need to stay healthy for work and for life, as well as enabling businesses to help their most important asset – their people.
“I would like to finish by saying a heartfelt thank you to all our supporters for your involvement. You play a crucial role in enabling us to help thousands of people each year and make it possible for us to deliver a positive impact to the industry. We simply can’t do this without your support.”