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Scotrail tackles mental health

Dominic Quilty is one of more than 50 ScotRail employees who has received extensive mental health first aid training through NHS-accredited material. The scheme, launched exactly one year ago, has provided staff with the skills needed to be able to identify someone who is developing a mental health issue and guide them to the relevant service.

The Dalmuir-based ticket examiner has helped several colleagues since receiving his mental health first aid training and has made positive steps to break down the stigma and encourage more people to speak up about their own wellbeing.

However, while physical distancing guidelines have been in place, the train operator’s mental health first aiders have had to find new ways to ensure colleagues receive the support they need.

Another of Scotrail’s employees to go through the course, Derek Monaghan, who works in customer service at Glasgow Central station, has been making use of video conferencing calls to allow support group meetings to continue to take place.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 18 to 24 May 2020 and has adopted the theme of kindness. Colin Reed at Markinch station recently received ScotRail’s Employee of the Month Award for his kind-heartedness.

Colin reached out to his customers during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic through a thoughtful notice board message displayed at the station. He offered to keep in contact with any person requiring help by calling them weekly and even giving out his phone number to those needing it.

The kind gesture was shared on Twitter, resulting in hundreds of re-tweets, thousands of likes, and comments from others who had their own story to tell about Colin.

Dominic Quilty commented: “It’s really important for us to continue to break down the stigma that has historically been associated with mental health, and ScotRail’s mental health first aid training is pivotal in this.

“The skills I’ve learned has allowed me to help a number of colleagues who were going through difficult times, and my advice to others would be; don’t be afraid to speak to someone and strike up a conversion if you think they may be struggling.

“In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to ensure those going through a difficult time get the help they need.”

Nadya Kuhl, ScotRail’s occupational health and wellbeing manager, said: “During this unprecedented global crisis, it’s important that we continue to talk about our mental health.

“Whether that’s texting a friend, chatting to colleagues through video conferencing apps, or checking in with a vulnerable neighbour – our society really benefits from peoples’ selflessness and kind-hearted actions.”

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