National charity Chasing the Stigma is working with Network Rail to make Leicester station a brighter and happier place for passengers returning to the railway, and by doing so is hoping to help anyone struggling with their mental health to access support.
Brighter Journey is the new mental health campaign that aims to bring the outdoors into the station environment and put smiles back on passengers’ faces after a challenging 18 months for many and with more people gradually returning to the workplace.
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 on Monday 11 October 2021.
As well as brightening up the station, it will signpost those struggling with their mental health to support services. One of the ways that Chasing the Stigma is doing this is by its new Hub of Hope app, 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. 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.
Neil Grabham, customer services director for 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.