VMLY&R: Ford Motor Company’s #MakeItVisible

Brightly coloured Ford van with man standing next to it

VMLY&R: Ford Motor Company’s #MakeItVisible

Building awareness of male suicide and promoting the front seats of a vehicle as a safe space to talk

Construction is the UK’s deadliest industry, losing on average two workers daily – not to the dangers of the job but to suicide. While every measure is taken to prevent physical harm, there’s no equivalent action taken to safeguard the workers from the dangers of stress.

The Make It Visible campaign follows Ford’s Elephant in the Transit launch in 2018, which built awareness of male suicide and promoted the front seats of a vehicle as a safe space to talk.

Ford has now created the Higher Vis Vest, a new safety vest designed to increase the visibility of mental health and recognise the emotional vulnerabilities of workers. It then partnered with the Lighthouse Club, a national charity dedicated to the mental wellbeing of workers, to introduce the vest and the Make It Visible programme to sites across UK.

The campaign makes use of high-vis jackets to increase visual awareness. With the ambition of making support more known and accessible to workers, Ford has sent mental health first aiders to construction sites in the distinguishable branded Ford vans, and it has amped up high-vis vests.

The official launch follows a pilot run in February 2022 which saw nearly 700 construction workers reached, with over 90% previously unaware of the Lighthouse Club and the support it provides.

“They’re not just construction workers, they’re dads, husbands, sons and brothers,” said VMLY&R, “Since the pilot, our charity partner has informed us they’ve helped three young men back from serious situations. With the launch of the full initiative, we’re going to help many more and save lives.”