Tools for raising awareness and tackling stigma
At RSSB we are committed to raising awareness of mental health and addressing stigma in the industry. RSSB, along with many of our members, has had positive experiences using the Time to Change campaign. This aims to change how we think and act about mental health problems, reducing mental health stigma and increasing opportunities to talk. Hundreds of employers across the UK have now taken the pledge, including man of our members, such as Atkins, South Western Railway, MTR Crossrail, Transport for London, Siemens, Network Rail, Costain, Colas Rail, and Virgin Trains East Coast.
This Is Me provides tools for opening up conversations around mental health. There are three elements: Storytelling, Wellbeing in the City, and the Green Ribbons. With Rail Delivery Group, Siemens, Southeastern, Freightliner, Network Rail already signed up, we can see the conversation around mental health growing.
Storytelling involves people in the workplace sharing their journey with mental health through a video with their colleagues. The only cost is the minutes it takes to do the recording. The only equipment it requires is a phone with a camera, and an intranet to upload to. No bells and whistle are required, yet it is one of the most potent tools we have. City powerhouses like PwC and Barclays have had employees come forward at all levels of their organisation, speaking about what was once unspeakable, and creating a significant culture shift within their organisations.
Wellbeing in the City is an online interactive learning experience created in partnership with Samaritans, giving people the tools to look out for their own emotional health, support others in theirs, and engage in compassionate conversations that help prevent people from getting to crisis point.
The Green Ribbon campaign is gaining momentum within the rail industry and more widely. By wearing the green ribbon we are showing a commitment to #endthestigma of mental health. By the end of the 2018 campaign had over 500 organisations involved, reaching over one million employees. 2018 saw the launch of This is Me North West and This is Me Scotland. This is Me West Midlands, launched in 2019. We have proudly wear our ribbons at RSSB. With the support of the industry we hope that we too can change the conversation around mental health in rail. Through This is Me we hope we can show that This is Rail.
Mental Health Training for Line Managers
Line managers and supervisors represent the ‘frontline’ of wellbeing management and act a gatekeeper to pathways to support. Managers are also in position to address (or report) work stressors that can compromise mental wellbeing. Line managers can lead by example, raise awareness, promote dialogue, tailor job design, and create an open environment around mental health once they themselves have a good understanding the subject. MH awareness training can empower managers to approach mental health more effectively, with the potential to impact positively on their direct reports.
RSSB has commissioned IES to conduct a research project with the aim of finding the best way to support the rail industry in providing training in this area, specifically targeting mental health training for managers.
What are the best mental health and wellbeing topics to teach to line managers?
IES have published a review of the literature which outlines the conditions for successful mental health training for managers in the rail industry
Building an Evidence Base in the Rail Industry
RSSB are working with IES to conduct a robust evaluation on the effectiveness of line manager training on mental health. The project is heavily influenced by IES’ literature review, with the aim of addressing key gaps in the evidence base, using outcomes identified as valuable in the literature review, and providing a depth of evaluation not yet achieved in rail. We will compare e-learning with face-to-face administration, as well as with a group of managers who receive no intervention. It will be the first study of its kind to compare these modalities for line manager mental health training. RSSB are working with Mind as the training provider, who’s 'Managing Mental Health at Work' half day training course for line managers, will be evaluated alongside their new e-learning package for line managers, 'Positive about mental health in the workplace'.
It is expected that the analysed data will be available in an industry report by September 2019.
Where to go for help
Lending an ear to someone at work who’s in distress could be all they need to move forward. Or it could be a chat with their line manager to sort out work-related problems. However, if you think somebody needs more support, these signposts could help.