Go-Ahead’s Chatty Bus scheme tackles poor mental health
Go-Ahead’s bus companies are promoting initiatives to stop the stigma around mental health for Mental Health Awareness Week
Go-Ahead is seeking to highlight the role of buses in tackling loneliness and poor mental health
The company is encouraging its bus colleagues to focus on wellbeing across the UK
The chatty bus campaign, first launched in January, was welcomed by the then minister for loneliness, Mims Davies
Leading bus and rail operator Go-Ahead Group is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by promoting initiatives to ‘stop the stigma’ associated with mental health.
Activities are taking place across Go-Ahead’s network of bus companies across the UK, spanning from Brighton to Newcastle. The company is also launching a mental health awareness campaign to encourage colleagues to talk about their mental health.
This initiative builds on the Chatty Bus campaign that was kick started in January this year. Research shows that three in ten Britons go at least one day a week without speaking to anyone close to them. Buses provide a vital lifeline for those living in isolation and who suffer with their mental health. Go-Ahead signed the Government’s Employers Pledge this year, which commits firms to working to improve social connections and tackle loneliness at all levels.
Brighton & Hove Buses, Go South Coast, Go North East, the Oxford Bus Company and Go East Anglia are promoting wellbeing in their organisations, with research indicating one in three people will suffer from poor mental health at work. Colleagues are being encouraged to open-up about their mental health, with wellbeing assistance signposted through posters, leaflets, employee benefit apps and push notifications through phones.
Brighton & Hove Buses is working with the charity, Table Talk, to promote its ‘chatty café’ network of more than 40 local cafes. The aim is to encourage people to sit down and chat in places where they see a 'Table Talk Brighton' sign. The company is aiming to mental health first aiders across its bus depots and travel shops, who can help passengers and employees alike.
Go North East – the third largest employer in the North East of England – has joined forces with the Newcastle United Foundation. The Foundation is coming to depots to talk to bus drivers and other colleagues about the importance of mental health, as part of their ‘Be a Game Changer’ campaign.
Salisbury Reds, operated by Go-Ahead company Go South Coast, is partnering with charity Pets as Therapy. They are raising awareness of mental health in the city’s Guildhall Square with support dogs on show – providing an ice breaker for members of the community to come together and chat.
Katy Taylor, Go-Ahead’s Customer and Commercial Director, said: “We are committed to building thriving communities, which includes our own colleague communities across the UK and abroad. If we can stop the stigma around talking about mental health, we can make sure we’re continuing to be an inclusive employer and help the colleagues who need it.”
Southeastern Rail, part of Go-Ahead Group, has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to supporting schemes to promote positive mental health. This is reflected in its network of more than 20 Mental Health ambassadors, their signing of the “Time to Change” pledge in October 2018, and its mental health-focused network group called ‘Mind the Gap’.
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Go-Ahead press office
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Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 28,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.