Mental Health Awareness Week will see a colourful, floral exhibition greet passengers at Leeds station as part of Network Rail’s Brighter Journeys campaign.
Alongside mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma, the campaign aims to support passengers’ wellbeing as people return to the railway since the lifting of Covid restrictions.
It comes as new data shows that nearly three quarters of adults in Yorkshire (72%) say their mental health has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with over a fifth (23%) describing their mental health as poor*.
The vibrant exhibition will bring the outside in, with bursts of colourful flowers in bloom gracing the main concourse from Friday 13 until Sunday 15 May. The sensory installation will act as a pleasant surprise which will lift people’s spirits and make them smile as they head to work, or for days out with their family.
Nick Cooper, Leeds Station Manager for Network Rail, said: “It’s amazing to see so many passengers choose to travel by train again after the pandemic and we want to welcome them back in a bright and cheerful way.
“This vibrant exhibition will bring nature to the city centre, and I hope it’ll make people smile as they pass through our station. It’s also a reminder that the Hub of Hope app is a great resource which offers a range of support services for anyone who is struggling.”
Research shows that interacting with nature puts people in a more positive mindset and makes them feel more grounded and calm. This campaign uses the power of nature to make people feel happier and more connected to their railway station, while raising awareness of the Hub of Hope app, which signposts people to support services if they are struggling with their mental health.
Jake Mills, founder of Chasing the Stigma and Hub of Hope app, added: “It is great to be working with Network Rail and the wider rail industry on the Brighter Journeys campaign. Nature is really important for mental health, so we hope commuters enjoy seeing these floral installations and they put a smile on people’s faces.
“We also hope that this acts as a reminder that no one is ever alone, and mental health support is available at any time, you don’t have to be in crisis to get help. If anyone is struggling or knows someone who needs help, please download the Hub of Hope app.”
Brighter Journeys will signpost people to share and download the Hub of Hope app if they or someone they know are struggling with their mental health. The Hub of Hope – provided by Chasing the Stigma – is a free app that connects people to more than 4,000+ mental health support services and groups across the UK. It is available on iPhone, Android and desktop (www.hubofhope.co.uk) and directs people to the nearest relevant local support using either the postcode typed in by the user or the location of the web browser or mobile device. Searches can be filtered by specific concern/type of support required, for example peer-to-peer groups, NHS or voluntary groups. For those needing immediate help, the app has a ‘Need Help Now?’ button that connects users directly to Samaritans or Crisis Text Line’s messaging service
The sensory installation will be touring the UK and is available to visit on the following days:
- Leeds, 13-15 May
- Edinburgh Waverley, 17-19 May
- Stevenage, 12-13 May
- East Croydon, 15-16 May
- Cardiff, 18-19 May