SEAT teams up with CALM to add mental health 'SOS' to its cars

  • Research shows that nearly nine in 10 people see driving as a way to improve their mental health
  • SEAT adds in-car mental health ‘SOS’ assistance feature
  • Drivers – and any family members – can quickly access support from charity partner Campaign Against Living Miserably via QR code
  • Nearly 59% of people admit to having to temporarily leave their home to de-stress
  • 60% say being able to drive their car during COVID restrictions has positively impacted their mental health
  • To start your journey to better mental health visit: https://www.thecalmzone.net/2020/11/help-with-whatever-journey-youre-on

Milton Keynes, 16 December 2020: A mental health ‘SOS’ has been added to SEAT cars after nine in 10* Britons say they ‘go for a drive’ to help their mental wellbeing.  

SEAT has partnered with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to pilot its first-of-a-kind mental health ‘SOS’ feature – a QR code applied to the vanity mirror of new vehicles.

The QR code takes users to a specially-designed page on CALM’s website, with hints and tips to preserve your mental health, and a helpline number if the user needs further support. It can easily be removed by the user.

Research commissioned by the vehicle manufacturer showed that 59 per cent of UK adults have sought to improve their wellbeing by temporarily leaving their house, with nearly 90 per cent of people saying they go for a drive to stay positive or to support their mental health.

Richard Harrison. Managing Director of SEAT UK, said: “With our longstanding mental health partner, CALM, 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.”

As the UK population continues to be impacted by various COVID restrictions, a further 60 per cent of respondents said that being able to drive their cars during the pandemic (within government guidelines) had positively impacted their mental health. More women (64 per cent) than men (54 per cent) have found solace in driving their cars during the pandemic.

While 90 per cent of respondents said they have driven their car to clear their head at some point during 2020, 46 per cent say they do so on a weekly basis.

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, the most of any age group, while this was the case for just half of over 55s.

Drivers in London (59 per cent) were most likely to get behind the wheel to support their mental health and stay positive on a weekly or daily basis, whereas drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber were least likely to do so (39 per cent).

SEAT hopes to make the service a permanent feature in its vehicles if the pilot is successful.

Simon Gunning, CEO at CALM, commented: “From CALM’s helpline number to expert advice on how to have a conversation with someone you’re worried about, 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.”

The partnership between CALM and SEAT was established two years ago, with previous collaborations including the ‘Grow a Pair (of ears)’ campaign, which encouraged everyone to talk and listen to their friends to help support better mental health.

ENDS

Notes to editor:

*The study surveyed 2,000 UK adults aged 18 and over

The SEAT UK Press and PR team, as well as the wider business, is undergoing mental health awareness training, while all UK SEAT press vehicles will feature the SOS alert.

About SEAT

SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), sells vehicles under the SEAT and CUPRA brands, while SEAT MÓ covers urban mobility products and solutions. SEAT exports 81% of its vehicles, and is present in more than 75 countries. In 2019, SEAT sold 574,100 cars, posted a profit after tax of 346 million euros and a record turnover of more than 11 billion euros. 

SEAT employs over 15,000 professionals and has three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the Ibiza, Arona and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca in the Czech Republic, the Tarraco in Germany, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii electric, SEAT’s first 100% electric car, in Slovakia. These plants are joined by SEAT:CODE, the software development centre located in Barcelona.

SEAT will invest 5 billion euros through to 2025 in R&D projects for vehicle development, specially to electrify the range, and to equipment and facilities. The company aims to make Martorell a zero carbon footprint plant by 2050.

For more information, please contact:

Juliet Carrington, Head of Press and Public Relations
07795 166422; juliet.carrington@seatcars.co.uk

Sam Mercer, Product Affairs Manager
07557 597181; sam.mercer@seatcars.co.uk

Laura Margott, Media Relations Manager
07881 227 608; laura.margott@seatcars.co.uk

ABOUT CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide through vital, life-saving support and collective action. If you’re struggling, talk to CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (UK) or through our webchat. Our trained support workers are available from 5pm to midnight every day to provide practical support and advice, whatever you’re going through.

To find out more visit www.thecalmzone.net

www.seatpress.co.uk

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