ScotRail Starts the Conversation about Mental Health

ScotRail is taking part in Conversation Cafés to offer support to customers.

ScotRail amongst other organisations are this week engaging passengers in conversations about mental health issues on trains and in stations.

The cafés incidentally come after ScotRail employee, Christopher Harvie, was praised for his quick thinking actions after assisting a vulnerable customer by taking them to a place of safety and preventing them from coming to any harm.

Playing a Part

The incident which took place on Tuesday 8 August 2019, made use of his recently acquired skills received from an NHS accredited mental health first aid course.

The ScotRail Customer Service Team Leader said:

“As one of the thousands of people working on the frontline of Scotland’s Railway, I know how important a role I have in helping vulnerable people. The mental health first aid training I received was really helpful in giving me valuable skills to notice the signs of a person in need. I am really happy that I was able to use those skills and play a part in helping to potentially save someone’s life.”

Representatives from the Railway Mission, Samaritans, NHS24 Breathing Space, ScotRail and the British Transport are among those taking part in the Conversation Cafés.

Edinburgh to Glasgow electrification
Class 385 electric train

Trust Your Instincts

People are being reminded that if they are concerned about someone they see on the railway or elsewhere they should trust their instincts and act even if it is simply reporting the issue to a member of staff or the police.

Suicidal Thoughts Can Often Be Temporary

Strike up a conversation with a simple question such as asking about the weather, or where they are traveling today. If you think someone may need help, introduce yourself, encourage them to talk and focus on listening. There is no evidence that talking to someone who could be at risk can make things worse.

This year’s Conversations Cafés will take place until Friday 13 September on routes across Scotland, including Dundee, Aberdeen, Dumfries, Wemyss Bay, Perth and Pitlochry.

ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, Phil Campbell, added:

“I’d encourage anyone who sees someone who they think might be at risk to offer a simple smile and a hello. It can change someone’s mindset and make a huge difference to not just their lives, but the lives of their friends and family.”

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