One in Four People – CPT launches mental health driver training DVD
CPT, working with the DfT, Mental Health Action Group, People 1st, the Association of Trainers and trentbarton, has launched a new training DVD aimed at assisting bus drivers in their dealings with customers who have hidden mental health conditions
Chris Peat made the trip to Derby Market place to attend the launch of the ‘One in Four People’ training DVD
As the title of the DVD implies, one in four of the adult population have hidden mental health problems. The DVD and accompanying workbook helps drivers to feel confident in their dealings with these people. It uses role play scenarios to make its points with the aid of trentbarton’s staff and vehicles. It was launched in Derby as not only is it within the operator’s territory, it is also the home of the Mental Health Action Group.
The DVD shows how to assist customers who may require patience and assistance but have no visible mobility impairment or who may feel extremely anxious about bus travel. It also demonstrates how to deal with people who may behave in ways that seem strange or bizarre to the driver and/or other passengers, as well as how to help people who may find it difficult to ask for the help they need. According to its creators, this new training aid provides a suitable interactive classroom based training course for drivers undertaking a Driver CPC periodic training programme.
CPT’s Operations Director, Stephen Smith, said the story of how the DVD came into being starts a couple of years ago when CPT was in discussions with various disability awareness groups about what could be done to make transport even more accessible. Through this the organisation was introduced to the Mental Health Action Group, who made a presentation highlighting the difficulties in catching buses experienced by people with mental problems. Stephen said it was ‘eye opening’.
This inspired the CPT to look how it could further involve itself with improving access to public transport for people with mental health issues. It was decided that the best way to do this was to produce a DVD. The CPT worked with the Association of Trainers and People 1st to develop the concept of the video. It also benefited from DfT funding, which covered the cost of producing it.
The DVD and workbook consists of a series of chapters, each providing information on each stage of a journey and tasks for trainees associated with them. It takes into account the thoughts and anxieties that different people with mental health issues experienced when catching buses. Stephen said, ‘Their stories are humbling.’
‘One in Four People’ is suitable for a three and a half hour Driver CPC course as part of a Disability Awareness module. Speaking to Alex Hornby, trentbarton Marketing and Communications Director, I discovered his company is adopting the DVD along with the workbook as part of its training module that focuses on the differing needs of passengers. Alec Horner, CEO of the Association of Trainers, said it is important to explore new topics to be included in Driver CPC training to ensure the next phase of it does not go over what has already been covered.
Stephen Smith said, ‘This new training aid is another important step the industry is taking to ensure local bus services are accessible to all. Operators understand that using public transport can be a daunting experience for those with certain mental health issues, and this new training aid will ensure that those individuals are able to use buses with confidence. We recognise the importance of ensuring that drivers undertake disability awareness training as part of the Driver CPC regime, and this new DVD and accompanying workbook are important additional resources available to the industry.’
Stephen said that in the past there has been a lack of awareness of mental health issues in the industry. However, in recent years this has changed, improving for the better, but is still an area in need of attention. This DVD is aimed at operators’ and drivers’ knowledge of such passenger difficulties, increasing their awareness and skills in helping them. Introducing it fits in with CPT’s overall goal of making bus travel more accessible for people with disabilities. It links in with its involvement with the passenger assistance cards that have recently been rolled out by some operators. These cards give disabled or elderly passengers a discreet way of telling the driver any difficulties they may have or what assistance they require. These can be downloaded from CPT’s or any participating operator’s websites. They can also be personalised with company logos on request.
According to Stephen, one of the next possible areas CPT will be focusing training aids on is bullying on school buses.
Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, has a long standing interest in ensuring passenger transport is fully accessible to all. Commenting on this new initiative, she said, ‘I would like to congratulate both the Mental Health Action Group (MHAG) and representatives from the bus and coach industry on the launch of this new “One in Four People” disability awareness training package.’
‘It is pleasing to see such an example of partnership working between the voluntary sector and the bus and coach industry, who have provided significant funding as well as their own time and expertise to develop this training.’
‘The accessibility of public transport is an important priority for me and I was also delighted to be able to support the development of this valuable training, through the DfT’s Accessibility Action Plan. The Government recognises the important role that the provision of assistance by staff, as well as their awareness of and attitudes towards passenger’s needs, can have on the passengers’ ability and willingness to travel.’
‘I hope that this new training DVD and workbook will allow bus drivers to deliver the best possible service to those passengers living with any kind of mental health condition. I would therefore encourage all bus operators to consider using the “One in Four” training package and to continue to involve disability groups and charities in the development of their own training programmes.’
Mental health charity, Mind, also welcomed the DVD. A statement from the group said, ‘Mind welcomes this new training DVD and hopes that bus companies across the country make good use of it. We know that people with mental health problems can find the experience of using public transport stressful and challenging. This resource can help drivers ensure they are being sensitive and supportive towards those passengers who are experiencing mental health problems.’
Available industry wide, the DVD and workbook is on sale to CPT members at £125 plus VAT and to non-members at £250 plus VAT. A donation will be made to the Mental Health Action Group for every purchase.
A preview of the DVD can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/I6nCGzuiCLk
To order your copy contact Graham Sutton ([email protected])
or telephone 020 7240 3131
Payment will be accepted by cheque or credit card