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Automotive mental health movement gets Marshall's backing as Gupta becomes patron

Daksh Gupta, Marshall Motor Holdings chief executive

Marshall Motor Holdings has signed up as the first platinum member of the enable automotive mental health movemement, and Marshall's chief executive Daksh Gupta has agreed to become its patron.

The major AM100 motor retailer has taken the step as a commitment to raising awareness and education of colleague well-being across the sector.

The enable organisation was founded in 2020 by Steve Whitton, originally to offer support to male workers in the industry because men often perceive a particular stigma around discussion of mental health including depression.

Whitton, whose career includes roles at Volkswagen, GMAC, leading a Vauxhall dealership and running his own consultancy and coaching business, has his own "lived experience" of mental health and wants staff mental health and well being to form part of boardroom discussions in the automotive industry.

Gupta, who since heading Marshall has helped make it one of the UK's Best Workplaces in the Great Place To Work initiative, said: "Mental health is a very real issue affecting both men and women. Men typically are less comfortable talking through their problems and tend to keep stresses to themselves.

"Around one in eight men at any time will be experiencing poor mental health, yet too few talk about their issues or seek support on ways to understand what's happening to them or tackle their issues.

"Becoming patrol on enable shows our personal commitment to the movement, providing a keen focus on men's mental health issues by raising awareness and offering support across our industry."

Gupta is also vice-chair of the board of trustees at motor industry charity Ben, which outlined in AM's latest issue some of the support it has provided industry workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Whitton said the pandemic and lockdowns have brought many issues to the surface, and it is time to address them.

"By creating caring cultures we want to give the industry back effective employees who feel valued, feel good about themselves and are able to perform well," Whitton added.

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