The rail industry exposes the workforce to unique working conditions. Shift patterns, challenging demands and working conditions, and exposure to potentially traumatic events are some of the issues that make the management of mental health in the industry particularly complex. To adequately support the workforce, it is important for companies to take a structured and evidence based approach to managing mental health in their organisations.

To build on work being developed and highlight the industry’s commitment to improving mental health in the workplace, Lee Woolcott-Ellis, Mental Health Lead Manager at Southeastern Railway, decided to develop a mental health charter specifically for rail. 

According to Lee, “Over the past three years, at Southeastern we have actively and openly shared our mental health journey. The willingness to share with other organisations and learn from their actions has created an ideal opportunity for all parties involved to develop strategies and processes that are helping many colleagues. The RMHC is the next stage for this to happen.”

The charter, developed in collaboration with RSSB and the Mental Wellbeing Group aims to:

  • encourage all member workplaces to engage with and embrace the mental health agenda.
  • support rail companies in preventing and addressing mental ill health, including the effective management of stress in the workplace.
  • make good practice and information readily and freely available to member organisations.
  • support the industry in taking a proactive approach to end mental health stigma, get conversations underway and create an open and inclusive culture where all colleagues know where and when to ask for support.