Train passengers reminded ‘it’s okay to talk’
A train has been given new livery to encourage passengers “it’s okay to talk”.
TransPennine Express (TPE) unveiled the message on one of its Class 185 trains to raise awareness of men’s mental health ahead of Sunday’s International Men’s Day.
The design was developed with suicide prevention charity Andy’s Man Club, which has more than 120 free support groups across Britain where men can talk about issues affecting them.
TPE managing director Chris Jackson said: “Charities such as Andy’s Man Club are life-savers for so many, and we’re extremely proud to work with them ahead of International Men’s Day to unveil the new livery on our train.
“If just one person sees the train and it gives them the confidence to talk about the problems they are facing, then our train wrap will have made a difference.”
TPE serves cities across northern England and into Scotland.
The operator said its staff have made more than 300 “interventions” in the past year, where they have “recognised and supported vulnerable people” on the railway.
More than 750 of its employees have completed safeguarding training related to transport.
Mark Haigh, a train driver with operator Northern, was at the controls of a service that struck and killed a man on the tracks in West Yorkshire in 2022.
He urged men to “feel more comfortable talking about their mental health”.
He said: “There are an increasing number of groups, services and helplines out there dedicated to helping them deal with their emotions, anxieties and other struggles.
“When I think about the guy that stepped in front of my train, it breaks my heart to think he felt there was no other option available to him.”
Office of Rail and Road figures show there were 300 suspected suicide attempts on the mainline railway in the year to the end of March, of which 236 involved fatalities.
Andy’s Man Club says it aims to “eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and create a judgment-free, confidential space where men can be open about the storms in their lives”.