Research to highlight best practice on mental health and transport

Transport consultant Meera Rambissoon is preparing a key research project on the subject of mental health and transport and is seeking input from operators and others in the industry for a survey of current practices and understanding of the subject.

Rambissoon says the work was inspired by the Mental Health & Transport Summit held last year which highlighted the impacts of mental health issues on both passengers and staff.

“One in four people suffer from mental health issues in the UK and, likewise one in six employees,” says Rambissoon. “In the public transport sector, mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder can have crippling though ‘hidden’ impacts on staff in the industry and on passengers travelling on services. In some cases, passengers are prevented from travelling and even leaving the house at all.”

She is preparing a research paper  in order to continue the debate from the Summit, and spread awareness, as well as to understand what further steps should be taken to support passengers and staff and examples of current best practice.

Operator and industry views are being captured in an online survey which has already drawn a large number of responses across the bus, rail and aviation sectors.

Rambissoon will be presenting the findings in her paper at the Transport Practitioners conference at the end of June in Nottingham and will also share them with passenger, industry and mental health stakeholders beyond the conference and approach stakeholders and decision-makers, including DfT.

“Crucially, more than words, this is about encouraging actual change where change is needed and also realistic,” adds Rambissoon.