Thursday 7 Oct 2021
Brighter Journeys in Leicester to support passengers’ mental health
- Network Rail launches new ‘Brighter Journeys’ campaign with national mental health charity Chasing the Stigma to encourage those who may be struggling with their mental health to seek help
- Brighter Journeys installation will be at Leicester station on Monday 11 October
- New research shows more people in the East Midlands are now returning to work and using the railway, with 55% of workers travelling to their workplace for the majority of their working week in August
- This new campaign forms part of Network Rail’s efforts to reduce suicides across the rail network, with train operating companies and the British Transport Police
Network Rail, together with the wider rail industry and national charity, Chasing the Stigma, is making Leicester station brighter and happier for passengers returning to the railway this autumn and helping anyone struggling with their mental health to access support.
After a challenging 18 months for many and with more people gradually returning to the workplace, the new mental health campaign, Brighter Journeys, aims to bring the outdoors into the station environment and put smiles on passengers’ faces.
On Monday 11 October, an art installation which includes a burst of colourful flowers in bloom, a nature themed soundscape and uplifting poems by James McInerney will be at Leicester station.
As well as brightening up the station, it will signpost those struggling with their mental health to support services, including the Hub of Hope app. The app – provided by Chasing the Stigma – is the only service of its kind that brings together all the mental health support options available to someone in any given area.
While home working may have become a common part of pandemic life, a new survey by Network Rail* reveals the nation is now heading back to work as passengers readjust to life after lockdown.
The findings from YouGov show over half of UK adults in the East Midlands (55%) travelled to their workplace for most of their working week in August, when lockdown restrictions were fully lifted across the country. Meanwhile, 51% of people in the region said being around colleagues can boost their own and others mental health and wellbeing, and 58% said returning to the workplace provides a sense of human connection.
Lauren Cokayne, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “After a challenging 18 months for many people, we are working with the wider rail industry and Chasing the Stigma to prioritise mental health and wellbeing - as more passengers across the East Midlands return to the railway.
“The Brighter Journeys installation at Leicester station will help anyone struggling with their mental health by signposting them to support services, as well as brightening up the station and providing an outdoors environment for passengers.”
Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “It is vital that when people are struggling with a mental health issue, they understand how to access help and support in their local area.
“Our team at Leicester station are proud to support this project and hope it raises awareness about this important subject.”
This campaign forms part of Network Rail’s efforts to reduce suicides across the rail network alongside train operating companies and British Transport Police. Ongoing measures are being taken to prevent such incidents from taking place, including training thousands of industry staff and running campaigns such as Small Talk Saves Lives with Samaritans and British Transport Police, which calls on the public to trust their instincts and start a conversation if they see someone who might need help.
Brighter Journeys, however, has been created with the input of suicide prevention and mental health experts to signpost those struggling with their mental health to support services much earlier on in their mental health journey.
Notes to Editors
*Survey was carried out by YouGov from 13-14 September 2021 with a total sample size of 2161 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)
Sadly, the railway is often the location for tragedies because people deliberately come onto the infrastructure. Supporting people who are struggling with their mental health is one important part of our work with the community and will be the focus for our activity in Leicester on Monday 11 October.
This will be followed with a day of action on Friday 15 October where railway colleagues will be on the station to highlight the dangers (and delays to rail services) caused by trespass and vandalism on our network.
You will understand why we need to treat them differently and we would be very grateful for your support highlighting both of these important issues.
About Chasing the Stigma
Chasing the Stigma is a national charity committed to normalising mental health. We make it easy to find help through the Hub of Hope support app, we create an environment of understanding through our Ambassador of Hope training and we campaign for change, every day.
For further information about Chasing the Stigma visit: www.chasingthestigma.co.uk
About The Hub of Hope
The Hub of Hope is the UK’s go-to mental health support signposting tool, with more than 3,500 services listed. Since its launch it has directed almost 200,000 people to life changing and life-saving help.
The app also has a ‘Need Help Now?’ button that links straight through to Samaritans and Crisis Text Line’s 24/7 messaging service.
It is free to download and use and free for organisations to register their details. Available from the App Store, Play Store and via www.hubofhope.co.uk
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.