During Mental Health Week, 10 - 15 October 2016, the TrackSAFE Foundation launched Community Stations, a ground breaking research project that encourages a sense of social connectedness at train stations.
The TrackSAFE Foundation partnered with Public Transport Victoria (PTV), the University of Melbourne's Centre for Mental Health, Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) and V/Line to deliver the Project and test a range of activities at four train stations – Dandenong, Ringwood, Sunshine and Melton stations.
Check out the Melton and Ringwood Community Stations videos:
Community Stations took place in October 2016 and concluding in March 2017. The aim of the pilot project was to discover whether particular activities at train stations could:
Improve community members knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about mental health,
Create a positive environment at stations which will improve customer's well-being,
Activities may include cultural performances, mental health awareness events, pop-up art, busking, or food related events.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne evaluated the project which found the initiative to achieve what it set out to. This invaluable research measured the impact of activities at train stations on health and wellbeing. A significant proportion of respondents (almost 70%) who indicated that they had noticed a ‘special event’ (possibly being a mental health awareness event) at the station reported to have gained an improved understanding of people with poor mental health and that the event made them more likely to reach out to someone possibly at risk of poor mental health.
Community Stations Toolkit
A step-by-step Toolkit has been designed for rail organisations to apply Community Stations in their local area with ease. It includes information about the initiative, its objectives and offers project planning guidance.
If you wish to find out further information about Community Stations, public enquiries are directed at the PTV Projects Team or call 1800 800 007.
If you have questions about the research aspects of the project, please contact:
Project coordinator at the University of Melbourne's Centre for Mental Health, Dr Nicola Reavley by email or call 03 9035 7628