Mental health first aiders on ScotRail trains
13 May 2019, 15:08 | Updated: 13 May 2019, 15:09
ScotRail has announced it will train more than 50 of its staff to provide mental health first aid to anyone in need.
The NHS-accredited training will help employees identify people who may require assistance and guide them towards support services.
Some workers have already completed the programme, which involves instruction on listening, reassuring and asking about suicide where appropriate.
The announcement was made by ScotRail at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.
ScotRail's occupational health manager Nadya Kuhl said the training will prove worthwhile if it assists anyone in getting the help they need.
Ms Kuhl said: "ScotRail is absolutely committed to providing appropriate support for mental health issues and the introduction of mental health first aiders will enhance what we can deliver for our own people and customers.
"We know the importance of engaging and identifying the signs of someone in need of support and how critical this can be to helping with treatment, and ultimately saving lives.
"If even just one person who is going through a difficult time gets the help they need, then it will be worthwhile."
Tom Scott from See Me, Scotland's programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, urged other employers to ensure staff are supported in the workplace.
Mr Scott said: "There is a significant problem with people in Scotland being able to speak openly about their mental health, especially at work. We want organisations to create cultures that are open in talking about mental health and where discriminatory behaviour is challenged.
"It's great to see the action that ScotRail are taking to give their staff the confidence and knowledge to have open and supportive conversations on mental health.
"We have been working with them for the past few months and this is one of a number of things the company has done to challenge stigma and improve cultures for both their staff and their customers.
"When someone is struggling with their mental health, they deserve help and compassion, and we would urge all workplaces to ensure that their staff feel confident and able to speak about mental health."