Developed independently by Metro Trains, its enhanced Peer Support Program and Trauma Recovery Guidebook recognise the unique pressures train drivers face, and provide additional layers of support for those involved in traumatic railway incidents.
Trespassing can have serious impacts on the wellbeing of train drivers, and these improved programs aim to strengthen the help available.
Metro’s Train Services Peer Support team of 36 people completed four days of intensive training in specialised trauma and mental health practices.
This training extends beyond mental health support to also focus on assisting traumatised drivers safely and considerately back to work.
Team members are experts in their relevant fields and have been drawn from Metro’s highly skilled train drivers, on-the-job trainers, and principal drivers, as well as staff from training and management backgrounds.
Metro’s new driver support initiatives will work alongside its existing Employee Assistance Program and partnerships with organisations such as Lifeline and TrackSAFE.
Metro driver training specialist Llewellyn Dixon-Mason said out on the job, Metro drivers faced potential traumatic incidents every day.
“We have extensive training in how to react and avoid them, but sometimes it’s inevitable that we’re faced with trespassers on train tracks,” he said.
“Afterwards, the drivers who are trained as peer support staff implement the tools in our programs alongside professional support services to ensure drivers can get back to work as soon as they are ready.”
Metro Trains chief executive officer Raymond O’Flaherty said illegal trespassing caused serious challenges for colleagues who worked hard every day to make sure Melburnians had a safe and reliable train service.
“Rail RUOK Day is an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on how we are coping with work and life in general,” he said.
“Our new trauma guide and improved peer support program provide us with industry-leading strategies that ensure our staff have all the tools and support they need to get through these types of incidents.”