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Charity accelerates digital services to support automotive industry through coronavirus and beyond

Time 10 months ago

The automotive charity Ben has been a key source of support for many people throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as its services become more critical for many.

Health and wellbeing director Rachel Clift appeared on Car Dealer Live this week and explained some of the challenges faced by people and how the charity is equipping itself to help more of them.

She talked about how the industry’s problems aren’t unique but the pressure and productivity make it very unique to work in.

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Clift explained that, although the industry is changing, the demographic is very male and the chance of a man reaching out for support is lower.

However, Ben is trying to reach out to as many people as possible by using new technology to offer them the help they need. This works particularly well for people with anxiety or depression.

She said: ‘Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who isn’t directly involved in your life and more independent but we feel compassion and empathy.’

Working in partnership with Silver Cloud, where Ben has a dedicated landing page, Clift explained it as ‘digital cognitive behavioural therapy’ or CBT. It was only launched in March and Ben is now about to launch fast-track access to Silver Cloud.

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Clift said: ‘I think a good gauge of that is in the last 12 months we’ve seen about a 114 per cent increase in mental health assessments that we’ve been delivering. That alone speaks volumes.

‘Ordinarily people would come through the helpline, come into our support service, and if they’re talking about mental health they would have some sort of assessment.

‘In fact, it’s probably the largest reason that people reach out to use.’

She added: ‘That’s one of the reasons we introduced SilverCloud, our digital platform, because it’s fundamentally a mental health platform and it means that we will, in a very cost effective way, be able to help more people with issues such as depression and anxiety through evidence based programmes.

‘We’re going to see a really great way of us reaching more people but also some really effective results from Silver Cloud as well.’

Ben was working with Silver Cloud before the lockdown began but because of the changing climate with redundancies on the horizon, and added money and general life worries with changing work patterns, they are adding more tailored services and content around health, work and wellbeing.

She explained: ‘We’re working on new products for those people who are at risk of redundancy, as well as employability support for people.

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‘We can help them to write a CV, interview skills and job seeking activities. There’s a whole host of things that we feel really well placed to support the industry in this space.’

Watch the interview in full at the top of this page.

You can find all previous Car Dealer Live episodes here. 

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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