I am deeply indebted to the charismatic and hugely good fun to be around chum of mine, the one and only Meera Rambissoon FCILT. Who has today published what I believe to be an excellent report into the vital but long ignored issue of people using public transport with mental health issues.
The reality is that i in 4 of us will suffer some form of mental health issues, some poor souls are born with afflictions which is one of the injustices of life. However, the truth is that at some point in our lives we will all suffer from some sort of challenge.
Meera’s well researched report contains real and evocative case studies of what some people go through. It is hard unless you read and feel what real and challenging fears exist for people when trying to use public transport. When you are in that space what to many is a every day activity becomes a massive challenge and a fearful experience.
What she has done is to engage with a well chosen group of industry influencers and experts in the field of mental health to collate a broad description of the specifics around different types of mental heath. Some are well known and others are less so. It is probably fair to say that we all get a bit down or depressed. Indeed Winston Churchill no less used to talk about his black dog of depression.
To him it was very real and he had to cope with it. No one is immune as lifestyle changes impact on us all, unemployment, financial worries, relationship issues, traumatic events, they can all trigger a range of reactions. The big problem is however that it is of course an invisible illness. Jaspar Carrot back in the day literally used to talk about the nutter on the bus. And whilst very funny, it is equally sad.
Such people do exist and they become figures of fun to some. The truth is that they really require support and guidance in their lives. We are very blessed in this Country to have the amazing NHS, the righful envy of the world, typical overall of a country that cares about its people. Mt Bevan’s great dream of free health care for all has stood the test of time.
Sadly though we are not yet as mature as maybe we should be about how we cope with helping people. There are some great examples of transport Companies being proactive in helping people with issues of mental illness. I am particularly pleased that Meera’s work has shone a light on this vital topic and i strongly support everyone to get behind it, read her report and share it. The sad truth is that one day it might be you or me who may need to benefit from her work, passion, and dedication. Great job Meera .