In numbers:


The economic cost of mental health related sickness absence in rail


of the rail workforce is exposed to potentially traumatic events, such as fatalities


The rate of suicide is 1.6 times higher in the rail and construction sectors than the UK average among professions


The number of public fatalities on the railway in the 2017-18


of frontline staff experienced workplace abuse


workers will be involved in delivering HS2


High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) members signed the Health and Wellbeing Charter

 In News

UK non-profit company RSSB has launched a campaign to stress the importance of recognising and addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in rail staff. According to the company, frontline staff members are particularly likely to develop the condition after witnessing accidents, injuries and near misses, or from being the victim of verbal or physical abuse.

Source: Railway Technology

On World Mental Health Day, a former train driver revealed the psychological turmoil he has to live with after witnessing eight suicides throughout his career on the railways. The former driver told the Plymouth Herald that he was diagnosed with severe chronic PTSD, is on anti-depressant medication and only gets on average two hours of sleep each night.

Source: Plymouth Herald

West Midlands Trains has been recognised for working to raise awareness of mental health issues at this year’s Institute of Internal Communications awards. The train operator won Best Ongoing Campaign at this year’s awards, for its ‘Hear to Listen’ initiative. The campaign encompasses a range of activities, which encourage staff to take an interest in the mental health of both themselves and colleagues.

Source: West Midlands Railway

To mark World Mental Health Day 2018, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) announced its partnership with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and released a short promotional film which features people from across LNER talking about their own experiences of mental health problems and coming across the issue of suicide in their working lives.

Source: CALM

 In quotes:

John Downer, HSRIL board member:

“Mental health is rightly receiving much more attention, with the Prime Minister calling it a ‘burning injustice’. As a rail industry, through the delivery HS2, our members can support a step-change in how we support positive mental ill health and wellbeing. Our industry has real challenges to face but HS2 enables us to set a new standard.”

Catriona Schmolke, Jacobs senior vice president:

“In 2016, Jacobs launched our mental health matters strategy, which grew out of our safety program, BeyondZero, with all staff making safety a personal value that extends outside the office walls, beyond the project site and into our travel, homes and communities. The promotion of mental health in the workplace is a natural extension of this culture, helping our staff understand, protect and sustain their mental wellbeing.”