The Railway Benefit Fund charity (RBF) is reminding UK rail industry workers to use its support services if they are concerned by debt problems and other worries, as it helps to promote World Mental Health Day.
Based in Crewe, Cheshire, RBF has supported current or former railway employees and their families for more than 160 years. Assistance is provided in many forms, from hardship grants to legal advice, either on a short or long-term basis and is always tailored to an individual’s personal situation.
With today’s (10 October) World Mental Health Day focusing on suicide prevention, RBF is urging rail industry workers to contact them if they are encountering any issues in their life which could escalate and lead to poor mental health.
RBF chief executive Jason Tetley said: “RBF is often able to provide solutions to the smaller problems in life which, if ignored, can trigger more serious mental health issues and even lead to suicide.
“Money worries, for example, are often cited as a significant factor to poor mental health. We are keen to stress to all employees in the rail industry that we support them from the day they begin their career in the industry, throughout their lifetime and into retirement.
“If they ever have debt or money concerns, then we offer advice – and in many cases financial support – to see them through the tough times.”
World Mental Health Day is supported by the World Health Organisation and the World Foundation For Mental Health. Its suicide prevention campaign this year encourages people to look out for signs that friends or family might be having suicidal thoughts and to encourage them to seek advice and support to deal with their issues.
“Research has shown us that many people in the rail industry who are struggling either financially, emotionally, or through illness, often find it difficult to seek help with their problems.
“We believe World Mental Health Day is a great initiative in its own right, but it also gives us the opportunity to remind our industry that RBF is here for its employees and their families every day of the year – particularly to act quickly to prevent small problems becoming bigger and developing potentially devastating implications for individuals and their loved ones,” added Jason.
At its annual fundraising dinner tonight at Crewe Hall, Cheshire, RBF will unveil an expanded range of services and initiatives to support railway families going through difficult times and a new-look logo.
The charity recently launched its new Family Support Fund, which provides a small grant towards family and child expenses for railway staff with children where the annual gross household income does not exceed £30,000. It provides up to £200 to support child and family-related expenses like school trips, kids activities and clubs, school uniforms and baby equipment.
Additionally, RBF offers a raft of other services to railway industry workers and their families when times are hard, ranging from financial assistance because of money worries, to emotional support at times of bereavement or physical or mental illness, and legal advice when workers find themselves in tricky situations.
Founded in 1858 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1949, the Railway Benefit Fund is the rail industry’s charity supporting current or former railway employees and their families. Assistance is provided in many forms, on a short or long-term basis and is specifically tailored to an individual’s situation.
The charity, based in Crewe, Cheshire, offers financial assistance, practical help and wide-ranging support, all in the strictest confidence.