Seat has teamed up with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to offer in-car ‘SOS’ to drivers suffering from mental health issues.

In a pilot project the manufacturer is installing a QR code above the sunvisor that can quickly offer support. This provides hints and tips to improve and preserve mental health, along with a helpline number for those wanting further assistance. It’s the first time such a project has been introduced in the UK, though the QR code can be removed by motorists.

It comes as a Seat survey of 2,000 adults found that many see driving as a way of improving mental health, with 90 per cent saying they had been for a drive at some point in 2020 to clear their head, and 46 per cent saying they do this on a weekly basis.

The study also revealed that 60 per cent said that driving their cars during the pandemic (within restrictions) had positively impacted 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.”

Seat is hoping to make the service a permanent feature in its cars – which range from the compact Mii Electric city car through to the seven-seat Tarraco SUV.