The TrackSAFE Foundation welcomes the Government’s budget commitment to additional investment in suicide prevention and mental health treatment services.
Tragically people attempt suicide on the Australian rail network every year and rail staff interact daily with individuals with a diagnosed or presumed mental illness.
“The TrackSAFE Foundation welcomes funding for activities that will help build individual resilience, have a strong focus on suicide prevention and services that will provide compassionate and effective early intervention and treatment. More suicide prevention and mental health services including crisis support and helplines are needed to help reduce the number of people that die or are injured on the rail network.”
Heather Neil, Executive Director, TrackSAFE Foundation.
Beyond the human loss or injury and impact on individuals, families and friends, incidents cause long-lasting trauma and work related stress to train drivers and the recovery staff involved with incidents.
The rail industry has long recognised the importance of mental wellbeing of its workforce and is the only industry to have a dedicated R U OK? Day. Recently, on 29th April 2021, 110 organisations and more than 90,000 rail industry workers came together for Rail R U OK?Day, encouraging staff to build their confidence and skills to ask a colleague R U OK? and support them in accessing assistance.
Additional mental health prevention, early intervention and treatment options announced in the budget will help ensure accessible and practical support when needed.
“In addition to the suicide prevention and mental health package, the significant rail infrastructure investment also announced with the budget provides opportunities to incorporate new design and technology that will build on existing passenger safety initiatives” said Ms Neil.
If you need support, there are a number of services available including Lifeline 13 11 14.