Turning Blue Monday into Brew Monday on UK rail

The third Monday of January is often deemed one of the lowest days of the year – cold, dark and with the Christmas holidays receding into the past. So, one of Go-Ahead’s UK rail services, Thameslink, is taking steps to cheer up customers.

On January 15, Thameslink passengers will be welcomed on board the ‘Brew Train’ with a warm cuppa, in a joint initiative by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and the Samaritans. This initiative aims to redefine 'Blue Monday' into a positive experience for commuters, starting conversations and fostering connections over a cup of tea.

Volunteers from GTR, The Samaritans, British Transport Police, Stevenage Football Club, and suicide prevention charities will be on board, distributing teabags, biscuits, and leaflets to flip ‘Blue Monday’ on its head. Samaritan volunteers will continue their support at various stations throughout the month, creating a network of encouragement and signposting support for those who may be struggling at this time of year. Simultaneously, GTR employees will host internal drop-in sessions for staff members.

Laura Campbell, GTR’s Safeguarding and Wellbeing Manager, said: "We want to bust the ‘Blue Monday’ myth and use the day to connect with our passengers."

Olivia Cayley, Head of Samaritans Rail Programme, highlights the significance of these initiatives: "Even small moments of human connection can play a big role in helping people who are currently struggling."

GTR's commitment to mental health extends far beyond the 'Brew Train.' Last year, the company collaborated with Samaritans on the Small Talk Saves Lives campaign, emphasising the power of a simple 'hello.' In addition to awareness campaigns, GTR invests in suicide prevention training for railway colleagues ensuring they can spot the signs of distressed passengers, increasing their confidence when it comes to making lifesaving interventions.

So, on 'Brew Monday' and beyond, let's raise a cuppa, share a chat, and collectively make a positive impact on our journeys and lives. Together, we have the power to turn a challenging day into one filled with connection, kindness, and support.

A Samaritans volunteer talks to a member of the public about the campaign