Ben has launched its new campaign to support people who are struggling with loneliness. Ben is the independent charity and dedicated partner to the automotive industry, providing support for life for its people and their family dependents.

Research shows that a quarter of British people feel at their loneliest in January, however loneliness is often or always a concern for over 9 million people in the UK[1] all year-round. Ben’s own helpline sees an influx in people reaching out for help due to loneliness during January and the winter months. The charity is also highlighting that no-one who works, or has worked in the automotive industry, is alone – Ben is always here for them and their family dependents. In light of this, Ben has launched new resources on its website to support people during the loneliest time of the year.

Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, said: “Understanding loneliness and feelings or behaviours associated with loneliness can be hard to identify with and acknowledge. Loneliness can be a transient feeling that comes and goes or something that can occur at certain times and then there are those that experience loneliness all or most of the time. The aftermath of Christmas and winter months has the potential to reduce social connectedness for many reasons, yet whilst, for some, January can be a catalyst for positive change, for others it can be a very isolating and difficult time of the year.

“If you or a family dependent are struggling with loneliness, you’re not alone… Ben is here for you. You can visit our web page for tips, advice and guidance or get in touch with us via our online chat or call our helpline if you need more support”, she added.

Zara Ross, Chief Executive of the automotive charity, Ben, answered the question Does our work culture tolerate loneliness?

“Understanding the implications of employee loneliness should be on the priority list for everyone, including employers in the automotive industry. In the fast-paced work environment of our automotive industry, there are a number of factors that can contribute to the loneliness of our people. The long (and sometimes unsociable) hours, relocations and continuous pressure to achieve individual targets can result in social isolation and often lead to loneliness. These challenges, coupled with the bravado of a male-dominated industry and a tough economic market, can leave people feeling completely alone. Loneliness can also be the catalyst (and certainly contribute to) to a number of other mental health issues including depression, stress and anxiety amongst others.

“Employees who feel more supported and happier in their work are more likely to be loyal to the company. According to a number of business and career coaches in the US, a supportive and caring work environment is likely to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the whole workforce. Employees who are treated well and know support is available if they are struggling will be reassured and go the extra mile for a responsive employer. Bosses can choose to ignore the issue, but an attitude of ‘ignorance is bliss’ could result in employees who are suffering from issues like loneliness taking time off sick or reducing their productivity”.

Ben’s NEW loneliness online resources
Click here to visit Ben’s new web resources about loneliness