Australian Health Today - - Contents -

“Train driv­ers, guards, sta­tion staff and other rail in­dus­try em­ploy­ees are of­ten the first peo­ple on the scene when in­ci­dents take place on the net­work. Wit­ness­ing th­ese events can cause se­vere men­tal, phys­i­cal and emo­tional trauma. This is why the in­dus­try came to­gether to found the Track SAFE Foun­da­tion, so we could pro­vide sui­cide pre­ven­tion strate­gies, tools and ad­vice to help our peo­ple feel safe and sup­ported at work,” said Naomi Frauen­felder, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Track SAFE Foun­da­tion.

The Rail Res app builds on the suc­cess of the Depart­ment of Veter­ans’ Affairs High Res app and draws on in­sights and rec­om­men­da­tions from a team of rail em­ploy­ees. Ms Frauen­felder says the app is an in­dus­try first be­cause it is the first rail-spe­cific trauma sup­port tool on of­fer through a mo­bile de­vice.

“Rail em­ploy­ees can use the app to ‘test’ their re­sponse to stress and ‘ad­just’ their phys­i­cal, cog­ni­tive, emo­tional and be­havioural re­ac­tions to stress. The app pro­vides a range of in­ter­ac­tive and easy-to-use tools and ex­er­cises in­clud­ing pro­gres­sive mus­cle re­lax­ation and learn­ing how to chal­lenge and change neg­a­tive or un­help­ful thoughts,” said Ms Frauen­felder. The Na­tional Sec­re­tary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, Bob Nanva, says the Rail Res app will help rail in­dus­try work­ers take con­trol of stress and anx­i­ety from the many pres­sures they are faced with, “work­ing in the trans­port in­dus­try can be highly stress­ful and de­mand­ing, espe­cially in the rail in­dus­try where mil­lions of com­muters are us­ing the net­work ev­ery day. Whether it’s a daily bat­tle or an oc­ca­sional episode, the ef­fects of stress –or even trauma– can take a se­ri­ous toll on pro­duc­tiv­ity, and more im­por­tantly our work­ers’ health. For­tu­nately, the new Rail Res app can bring im­me­di­ate stress man­age­ment within easy reach,” Mr Nanva said.

The lat­est sta­tis­tics from the ABS re­veal that around 8 peo­ple die by sui­cide in Aus­tralia ev­ery day. CEO of sui­cide pre­ven­tion char­ity R U OK?, Bren­dan Ma­her, says the part­ner­ship with Track SAFE is an in­valu­able op­por­tu­nity to en­gage the rail in­dus­try and Rail R U OK? Day is an op­por­tu­nity for work­mates to re-com­mit to be­ing there for one an­other.

On Rail R U OK? Day, the Aus­tralian rail in­dus­try took a proac­tive ap­proach to the emo­tional well­be­ing of its 110,000 em­ploy­ees through the launch of its Rail Res app. The app is de­signed to help em­ploy­ees man­age their im­me­di­ate re­sponses to stress, and to help build their re­silience.

“When­ever you no­tice that some­one is tired, a bit stressed, dis­tracted by things hap­pen­ing at home, or is not them­selves, take the time to check in with that per­son and see how they’re do­ing,” Mr Ma­her said. “It’s not about pro­vid­ing a so­lu­tion or fix­ing their prob­lem, it’s about let­ting them know they’re sur­rounded by peo­ple who care.”

For­mer Aus­tralian Wal­la­bies Cap­tain and R U OK? Am­bas­sador Phil Waugh says th­ese con­ver­sa­tions can change the cul­ture of a work­place. “As men, we can some­times feel that we shouldn’t show emo­tion or vul­ner­a­bil­ity. We need to re­mind each other that it’s ok not to be ok, and to help one an­other through those rough patches when we can,” he said.

A sen­ti­ment Ms Frauen­felder echoes: “Get be­hind Rail R U OK? Day and any day a work­mate’s strug­gling. By do­ing so, you’re help­ing to cre­ate work­places where work­mates feel con­nected and pro­tected from sui­cide.”

the app can be down­loaded via the App store.

Rail Safety Week 2016 will be held 15-21 Au­gust 2016

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