ScotRail on track to boost support for mental health

Monday, 13 May 2019

People across frontline roles on Scotland’s Railway will be trained to provide assistance for anyone in need of mental health support.

More than 50 staff across the business will receive mental health first aid training, allowing them to provide guidance and signpost support services to anyone experiencing problems.

The mental health first aiders will receive extensive training through NHS-accredited material and be able to identify someone who is developing a mental health issue, and guide them to the relevant service.

The first group have now completed the training programme and will be working across the business to deliver the five-step action plan:

  • Ask about suicide
  • Listen non-judgementally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage the person to get professional help
  • Encourage self-help strategies

ScotRail Occupational Health Manager Nadya Kuhl said:

“ScotRail is absolutely committed to providing appropriate support for mental health issues and the introduction of mental health first aiders will enhance what we can deliver for our own people, and customers.

“We know the importance of engaging and identifying the signs of someone in need of support, and how critical this can be to helping with treatment, and ultimately saving lives.

“If even just one person who is going through a difficult time gets the help they need then it will be worthwhile.”

See Me Workplace Equality Consultant Tom Scott said:

“There is a significant problem with people in Scotland being able to speak openly about their mental health, especially at work. We want organisations to create cultures that are open in talking about mental health and where discriminatory behaviour is challenged.

“It’s great to see the action that ScotRail are taking to give their staff the confidence and knowledge to have open and supportive conversations on mental health.

“We have been working with them for the past few months and this is one of a number of things the company has done to challenge stigma and improve cultures for both their staff and their customers.

“When someone is struggling with their mental health, they deserve help and compassion, and we would urge all workplaces to ensure that their staff feel confident and able to speak about mental health.”