Supporting Mental Wellbeing During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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RSSB’s Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Dr Michelle O’Sullivan, writes about Supporting Mental Wellbeing during the Covid-19 Pandemic Working together for better health and wellbeing.

The rail industry relies on its staff to deliver high-quality, efficient and safe services, all of which depend on the health and wellbeing of each and every member of that enormous team. Employees face challenging situations every day, including public behaviour issues like the risk of abuse. This can lead to mental health problems that affect motivation, concentration and problem-solving skills—especially if they go unsupported. The way companies react to workers’ health problems has a massive impact in their ability to manage their work.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges in this area, but our core aim remains the same: to improve health and wellbeing in rail.  People’s routines will change frequently and there will be natural concerns about their own health and wellbeing.

This year—for the first time—we’re collecting industry data on mental health. By assessing the needs of the whole industry, but also individual companies, we’ll be better equipped to develop a mental health strategy that supports imminent issues, is proactive and helps to prevent mental health difficulties. This strategy will aim to protect the mental wellbeing of employees and, where needed, facilitate access to high quality mental health care.  

Please help by taking part in our survey 

The article “why supporting mental wellbeing is measurably good for the business” outlines the key steps companies need to consider to make sure their investment in mental health pays off. ‘Pay’ is the operative word here. A recent research project by RSSB, ‘With You in Mind’, showed an estimated return on investment between £6.8 and £18.1 for every pound spent in direct employee support. 

RSSB’s guidance and toolkits offer solutions to help staff manage a range of issues affecting wellbeing, from fatigue to passenger conflict.
You can take advantage of the resources we have on this area using the list below:

Information on mental wellbeing self-care and coronavirus

Mind has put together information that can support people who may be feeling anxious about coronavirus, practicing social distancing, and self-isolation. Listen to RSSB’s work psychologist, Joana Faustino, podcast on how rail staff can take care of their mental wellbeing during the pandemic.

Rail industry briefing note on addressing mental wellbeing and psychosocial aspects of Covid-19 outbreak

In collaboration with the industry Mental Wellbeing Subgroup, RSSB have published a briefing note on how employers can support the mental wellbeing of staff during the pandemic, (member login required) with example messages for staff, as well as interventions ranging from social considerations, strengthening communities, to specialist support.

Supporting staff following the death of a colleague

The loss of a colleague can have a profound impact on any organisation. To create the conditions for people to grieve as they need to, it’s important that companies respond appropriately. Read our guidance to help the workforce cope. 

New Line Manager’s Resource for Promoting Mental Wellbeing

Line managers are responsible for and can influence team culture, workloads, control, support, roles, relationships and change, which can all impact employees’ mental wellbeing. Read and download our Line Manager’s Resource, which  helps improve manager’s understanding of how mental wellbeing can be improved and maintained, for them and their teams. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Training 

We have partnered with Mind to create two cost effective and expert-led e-learning courses. The Mental Health Awareness at Work and Managing Mental Health at Work courses are rail specific and can help upskill the workforce on mental wellbeing remotely.

Trauma Management Toolbox

We have published an updated Trauma Management Toolbox (member login required) with practical tools, checklists, templates and resources. This will support companies to review and make changes to their trauma pathway, consistent with RSSB’s trauma guidance (login required).  

Wellbeing champions

Having a network of wellbeing champions has been shown to sustain enthusiasm and momentum for wellbeing initiatives and facilitate behavioural change. Our report has more information about good practice in training provision for wellbeing champions. 

How can we improve workplace mental health support?

With You in Mind’ was one of 19 initiatives across the UK selected to receive funding from the Work and Health Challenge Fund. RSSB offered direct support to employees struggling with mental health and offered training to their employers. The final report and summary share key learning and have now been published. Both make a strong case for investment in mental health support and training.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our expert for more information.
Michelle O'Sullivan
Tel: 07710 948 349
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