Thameslink helps NHS spread message of mental health crisis


Friendly faces and messages of help and support are on show at train stations in Bedfordshire and Luton as part of an NHS mental health campaign.

Mental health crisis support is available across Bedfordshire and Luton for all ages, 24hrs a day, seven days a week, by calling NHS 111 (option 2).

Posters raising awareness of the service and promoting a key message that you aren’t alone if you need urgent help have now been placed at Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford train stations.

The 111 crisis support service is provided by East London NHS Foundation trust, which provides a range of NHS services across the county.

Ben Salmons is the Trust’s Break the Stigma campaign lead and he has produced the posters for the train station campaign.

“The aim of Break the Stigma is to help people talk about mental health and that is absolutely our message to anyone struggling or who feels they can’t cope,” he said.

“Please pick up the phone and talk to us. Help is here for you.”

He added: “I would also like to thank Thameslink who are fantastic supporters of the NHS and have covered all of the costs in printing and displaying the posters.”

The posters feature a mix of NHS staff and service users holding a Break the Stigma whiteboard with their own handwritten messages of support.

Thameslink Customer Services Director Jenny Saunders said: “Mental health is a hugely important topic for us here at Thameslink, especially with the stresses and strains brought about by Covid-19.

“There has never been a more important time to talk about mental health, which is why recently we used motivational pavement art to tell people that ‘We’re with you’ and ‘It’s OK not to be OK’.

“The NHS 111 crisis support service is a vital part of the support network that exists for anyone with mental health issues and I’m really pleased we have been able to help.”

Station Manager Joe Healy worked with Ben to deliver the posters project. “It is a great working relationship and really important getting the message to our customers and staff that there is a mental health crisis line available 24hours a day, 7-days-a-week,” he said.

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