Seat is adding a mental health ‘SOS’ QR code to its cars after it was revealed that nearly nine in 10 people in the UK go for a drive for some peace of mind.
The manufacturer has teamed up with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) to try out the code, which is being put on vanity mirrors of new vehicles.
The code, which can be removed, takes people to a page on Calm’s website that has hints and tips to help with mental health.
There’s also a helpline number if the person needs more support.
A study of 2,000 UK adults aged 18 and over that was commissioned by Seat showed that 59 per cent of UK adults have tried to improve their mental wellbeing by temporarily leaving their house.
Nearly 90 per cent of them said they went for a drive to stay positive or to support their mental health, with 46 per cent saying they do so on a weekly basis..
Richard Harrison. managing director of Seat UK, said: ‘We wanted to play a small part in helping people to quickly access support when they need it.
‘The new “SOS” feature should make it that little bit easier to have someone to talk to, especially because so many people see the car as a place of refuge.
‘It is definitely a case of “being silent isn’t being strong”, so we encourage people to speak to their friends and family or seek professional advice.’
A further 60 per cent of respondents said that being able to drive their cars during the pandemic within the government’s guidelines had had a positive effect on their mental health.
More women (64 per cent) than men (54 per cent) said they had found solace in driving their cars during the crisis.
Just over three-quarters (76 per cent) of younger drivers (18-24) felt their car had been a positive influence on their mental health during the pandemic.
That was the most of any age group, and was the case for just half of over-55s.
If the pilot is successful, Seat said it hoped to make the service a permanent feature.
Simon Gunning, chief executive at Calm, said: ‘Calm and Seat have teamed up to put people in the driving seat when it comes to helping themselves and others.
‘Life is full of twists and turns. Sometimes we stall. And sometimes we need time to put the brakes on and take some time for ourselves.
‘But no matter what you’re going through, Calm’s helpline and webchat is here to provide free, anonymous and confidential support, 365 days a year, 5pm until midnight.’