A new rail industry mental health awareness campaign called Brighter Journeys is bringing the outdoors in to Liverpool Lime Street station to put smiles on passengers’ faces.
From today (Wednesday 13 October) an interactive art installation will be on the station concourse to provide a burst of colourful flowers in bloom, a nature themed soundscape and uplifting poems by James McInerney for the increasing number of passengers returning to the railway network.
It’s part of a nationwide tour organised by Network Rail, the wider rail industry and national charity, Chasing the Stigma to make stations brighter and happier for passengers this autumn and signpost anyone struggling with their mental health to where they can get help.
It comes as a new survey conducted by Network Rail* shows more people across the North West are gradually returning to the workplace and choosing the railway to get there.
While home working may have become a common part of pandemic life, more people are heading back to workplaces and rail passengers are readjusting to life after lockdowns.
In the North West 33% of people surveyed expected to be travelling to their place of work more often from September.
A quarter of people surveyed said they missed talking to their colleagues face to face, and 27% felt that being in a workplace was better for work and team morale.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route managing director, said: “After a challenging 18 months for many people, we are working with the wider rail industry and Chasing the Stigma to prioritise mental health and wellbeing – as more passengers across the North West return to the railway.
“The Brighter Journeys installation at Liverpool Lime Street station I hope will help anyone struggling with their mental health by signposting them to support services, as well as brightening up the station with a splash of colour and something out of the ordinary to make people smile on their morning or evening commute.”
The Brighter Journeys campaign forms part of Network Rail’s efforts to reduce suicides across the rail network alongside train operating companies and British Transport Police.
Ongoing measures are being taken to prevent such incidents from taking place, including training thousands of industry staff and running campaigns such as Small Talk Saves Lives with Samaritans and British Transport Police, which calls on the public to trust their instincts and start a conversation if they see someone who might need help.
Brighter Journeys is different as it has been created with the input of suicide prevention and mental health experts to signpost those struggling to the support services available to them at an earlier stage.
Photo credit: Network Rail