Safety, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Workforce, Workforce, Certification & Training

TrackSAFE welcomes budget mental health focus

Funding for key activities is expected to help build individual resilience and provide a strong focus on suicide prevention.

THE TrackSAFE Foundation has welcomed the federal 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,” said Heather Neil, executive director, TrackSAFE Foundation.

“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.

“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 29 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” Neil said.

If this article has raised issues for you, or if you require support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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