New ‘breathing space’ bench installed at Dalmuir as part of mental health awareness drive: Breathing Space 3

Friday 17 May 2024

New ‘breathing space’ bench installed at Dalmuir as part of mental health awareness drive

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

Passengers and members of the community are being invited to use a new ‘breathing space’ bench at Dalmuir station to promote positive mental wellbeing.

The bench, which was unveiled this morning (Friday 17 May), is the first of its kind in Scotland, with more set to be rolled-out across the country this year.

Its introduction to the station will allow people a secure space to seek help, reflect, have dialogue and support each other during challenging moments and episodes of distress.

Across the rest of the UK, more than 50 breathing space benches are in operation and feedback indicates these spaces have been very effective in promoting a supportive environment in which to seek mental health guidance.

Network Rail is installing the bench, supported by ScotRail, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Samaritans, as part of its commitment to prioritising passenger welfare and safety.

At the same time, it’s hoped the bench’s introduction will mitigate the traumatic impact and emotional repercussions of tragic incidents where mental health has been a factor.

Liam Sumpter, managing director, Network Rail Scotland, said: “We’re pleased to be able to unveil the new breathing space bench at Dalmuir station.

“This initiative is such an important one and is designed to encourage everyone to sit and reflect, share a bit of time for listening and talking, and to reach out and show kindness and compassion to those who may need it.

“The bench will not only foster a supportive and empathetic atmosphere but will create a sense of unity and understanding among passengers and staff.

“We encourage anyone and everyone who needs to find some breathing space to come and use the bench to think and seek help.”

Dave Brown, senior programme manager at Samaritans, said: "We are pleased to be supporting the breathing space bench.

“Everyone has moments in their life when they struggle to cope, and at Samaritans we answer a call for help every 10 seconds and are here for anyone who’s going through a difficult time.

“Initiatives like this allow people the space to reach a better understanding of their situation and the options open to them."

David Lister, ScotRail safety and sustainability director, said: “The wellbeing and mental health of our staff and customers is a priority, and it’s great to see a Breathing Space bench installed at Dalmuir Station, serving the West Dunbartonshire community.

“Sitting down and having a chat with someone or making time for yourself when things seem overwhelming can make a real difference.

“We’re delighted to work with our colleagues at NHS Breathing Space and Samaritans to deliver this initiative and look forward to seeing more Breathing Space benches installed across Scotland’s Railway.”

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

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Eddie Harbinson
Media Manager
Network Rail

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