Important coronavirus informationCritical licensing functions will be prioritised
Health and wellbeing
We are aware that the current pandemic and the associated financial and social impacts are a source of considerable stress and concern to many. We have provided some resources below that might be useful in addressing some coronavirus-specific issues on our coronavirus information for licensees page.
Getting help, advice and support
A range of help and support services are provided by appropriately trained healthcare professionals. We want licensees to feel empowered to seek professional support when necessary, for both their physical and mental health. This page is intended to raise awareness of some of the services, guidance and support that is available.
All of us face stress and situational / psychological stress at times. There is a difference between a mental illness and mental health issue as detailed below:
Mental illness (e.g. bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, recurrent depression) is a chronic condition and more severe than a mental health issue; although mental illness can respond very well to treatment, the condition and its symptoms can flare up throughout life.
Mental health issues (e.g. reactive depression, anxiety, phobias) are transient and generally overcome via internal coping mechanisms as well as external help such as short term medication, social support and counselling.
It is important to be self-aware and spot the early warning signs that you are feeling mentally unwell.
Everyone's experience with mental health is different, so symptoms can vary from person to person. However, there are some common signs to look out for regarding an individual's wellbeing:
- Becoming very withdrawn
- Persistently sad or tearful
- More irritated or angry
- Can't sleep or sleeping a lot more
- Feeling of exhaustion
- Loss of appetite
- A sense of hopelessness
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things
- Aches, pains or other physical problems
- Distraction, confusion, lapses in memory
The most common mental health issues are anxiety and depression. You can read more about the signs and symptoms here:
The first step, if you are not feeling great, is to seek help and support at the earliest opportunity with your GP. This can provide access to counselling support and may also involve a physical check to ensure there is not an underlying medical issue for your symptoms e.g. poor sleep.
ALL mental health problems can be helped by:
- Talking therapies
The prognosis for the vast majority of conditions is very positive with the right help.
You can self-refer yourself to the NHS to access free psychological services via the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies scheme. Using your location, you can search for your local service before completing the self-referral form.
Charities and public services
There are a number of charities and organisations that offer a wide range of support services and guidance.
We've compiled a list of charities and public services that can help you and give you guidance or support when you need it most. This list isn't exhaustive and your GP or the NHS can also advise you of further resources that are available.
Mental health support services
Phone: 0300 304 7000. Open every day from 4:30pm to 10:30pm.
- Rethink Mental Illness
Phone: 0300 5000 927
Rethink Mental Illness advise the phone line can get very busy and ask you to check the website first and then contact the team if you still need support.
Phone: 0300 123 3393. Open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday except Bank Holidays (calls charged at local rate).
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Phone: 0808 802 58 58
The helpline is for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. It is available 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year.
Free or low cost counselling can also be accessed by using South East London Counselling. Many organisations of the organisations listed operate a means-related sliding scale of fees or ask for a donation.
- Age UK
Phone: 0800 678 1602
Age UK London is a regional charity that helps London to love later life by campaigning for older Londoners, working on their behalf, and championing their cause. Working London borough Age UKs, over three hundred older people's organisations across the capital, and the national organisation, Age UK.
- Alzheimer's Society
Phone: 0330 333 0804
Alzheimer's Society campaigns for change, funds research to find a cure and supports people living with dementia today.
- Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide
Phone: 0800 068 4141. Open Mon-Fri 9am to 10pm, weekends and Bank Holidays 2pm to 10pm
Provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through our helpline, HOPELINEUK.
- Stress Management Society (SMS)
Phone: 0203 142 8650
The Stress Management Society is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals and companies recognise and reduce stress.
- BBC Headroom
The BBC has created a comprehensive mental health toolkit called BBC Headroom which provides a host of online tools and resources to help with a range of mental health issues. The site features relaxing music and mindful videos, practical tips and advice, inspiring stories and sleeping aids and advice.
Diet, exercise and physical health
- UK Active
Phone: 020 8158 9700
Exists to improve the health of the nation by getting more people, more active, more often. Provides services and facilitates partnerships for a broad range of organisations.
- British Weel of YOGA
Phone: 01529 306851
The British Wheel of Yoga is the largest yoga membership organisation in the UK, committed to promoting a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practice through experience, education, study and training.
- British Nutrition Foundation
Phone: 020 7557 7930
BNF's vision is 'Everyone can access healthy, sustainable diets' contributing towards this through its Mission 'Translating evidence-based nutrition science in an engaging and actionable ways'.
Communicating clear, accurate, accessible information on nutrition, diet and lifestyle, which is impartial and relevant to the needs of diverse audiences. The core purpose is to make nutrition science accessible to all.
Healthy eating and hydration are essential to life, so it is very important to get the right balance and nutrition in order to be at your best. Here are some useful resources that may help you achieve this:
- Health Action Campaign
A non-profit organisation that believe prevention is better than cure; by providing health information and upstream initiatives.
- RoSPA driver safety
Information on driving fatigue and the importance of not driving when tired.
- Alcohol Change UK
Providng a support resource for those struggling with alcohol dependence and their family and friends.
- Prostate Cancer UK
One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer, which is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. Around 400,000 men are living with or after a prostate cancer diagnosis, and that number keeps rising. Most men with early prostate cancer don't have any symptoms, which is why Prostate Cancer UK is encouraging men most at risk to speak to their GP. This includes men over 50, while black men and those with a family history of the disease should consider speaking to their doctor earlier, from the age of 45.
Visit Prostate Cancer UK's 30 second online risk checker to help understand the risk.
- NHS resources
NHS How Are You? Quiz - Get a free personalized health score when you complete this 10 minute NHS quiz. The results can help you determine what you need to do to live a healthier lifestyle.
Seated stretches - sitting down for extended periods can cause aches and pains. Try these stretches to help improve your posture.
If you suffer with back pain, the NHS has a list of useful tips and resources specifically for back pain.
Try to remember to take regular breaks, avoid sitting exclusively for long periods if you can help it and see the NHS advice "why we should sit less"
The NHS Every Mind Matters campaign has a series of resources to help with sleeping, sleep issues and insomnia and the importance of a good nights sleep.
NHS Quit Smoking - improve your health with quitting smoking support from the NHS.
NHS Healthy Weight resources -check your BMI and get tips and advice to help maintain a healthy weight.
Specific support services
- Carers UK
Phone: 0808 808 7777
Provide carers with expert advice, information and support. They campaign and innovate to find better ways to reach and support carers.
- Cruse Bereavement Care
Phone: 0808 808 1677
Cruse Bereavement Care is committed to being a diverse and inclusive charity that is accessible to all sections of society. Offering telephone, face-to-face and group support.
- Diabetes UK
Phone: 0345 123 2399
Fighting against the UK's biggest and growing health crisis. To prevent Type 2 diabetes, campaign for and support everyone affected by diabetes, and fund research that will one day lead us to a cure.
Phone: 0300 003 0396. Open: Monday-Thursday: 8am to 8pm, Friday: 8am to 6pm, Saturday: 9am to 1pm
If you're facing difficulties, looking to strengthen your relationships, or want help thinking things through Relate are here to support you.
- Money Advice Trust - Business Debtline
The Money Advice Trust is a national charity helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence.
Offering free, independent and confidential advice on personal debt and Business Debtline, the UK's only free dedicated debt advice service for people who are self-employed and other small business owners.
- At a Loss
AtaLoss.org provides the UK's signposting website for the bereaved.
- Citizen's Advice Bureau
Phone: 03444 111 444
Citizens Advice has a network of charities offering confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. The Advice line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The phone line is usually busiest at the beginning and then end of the day.
- National Trading Standards
Frauds and scams are increasingly sophisticated and indiscriminately target everyone, at any time and through a hugely varied number of ways. To keep yourself informed visit the Trading Standards website
- Action Fraud
If you or a loved one has been targeted by a scam, you can report it to Action Fraud.
Support in the aftermath of a road traffic incident
If you have been involved in, or injured by a serious incident involving TfL services, you can contact the Incident Support Service.
- Incident Support Service
Phone: 0343 222 5678, Monday-Friday 08:00-18:00 (check TfL call charges). A voicemail service operates outside of these times.
If you have been bereaved as a result of an incident on the roads:
Phone: 0845 4500 355 (Open Monday to Friday 10am - 1pm. Call are charged at local rate).
The aftermath of a road crash is devastating. Road Peace help bereaved families cope and build resilience through peer support, our local group network, befriending service and trauma support programmes.
- Time to Change
Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.
- Heads Together
In exceptional circumstances, if you are concerned for your safety or that of another licensee) then please call 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E).
Our 'OnRoute' magazine also regularly features articles on driver wellbeing:
- Issue 23 - Spring/Summer 2020
Information about our Health and Wellbeing Forum - including wellbeing advice for licensees.
- Issue 17 - July/August 2018
An article about how the quieter driving environment of an electric vehicle can have benefits for drivers.
- Issue 15 - March/April 2018
Mental health - how to cope with stress and boost mental wellbeing
- Issue 11 - July/August 2017
Advice on how to reduce the risk of back pain associated with long hours behind the wheel
- Issue 9 - March/April 2017
Advice on sleep and driving fatigue
- Issue 8 - January/February 2017
Advice for Knowledge students on how to cope with stress and anxiety related to their studies
- Issue 7 - November/December 2016
An article about a driver's journey to better health
- Issue 6 - September/October 2016
Advice on how to stay healthy behind the wheel
This page will be updated with future articles relevant to this topic. If you have any suggestions for articles on this topic, or any other, you can get in touch with the editor at OnRoute@tfl.gov.uk
Health and Wellbeing Forum
We hosted a Health and Wellbeing Forum bringing together a range of organisations that offer help, advice and support services. The event sought to raise awareness across the taxi and private hire industries of these organisations as well the importance of managing your health and wellbeing.
The forum was attended by a range of stakeholders from across the taxi and private hire industries as well as a number of licensees.
The presentations at the 3 December 2019 forum are published here.
Taxi and private hire applicants are required to meet DVLA Group 2 medical standards and once licensed, must tell us of any changes to their medical circumstances. This is to ensure the safety of our licensees and their passengers.
Licensees should seek treatment for any medical conditions at the earliest stage possible, to ensure they receive appropriate treatment.
Licensing action is only taken if the licensee does not meet DVLA Group 2 Medical Standards, which could present a risk to customers and indeed the licensee.
You can learn more about licensing by visiting our taxi and private hire pages.