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​Train firm highlights mental health issues

Press release   •   Oct 12, 2017 12:58 BST

Punk duo Slaves, at Letchworth Garden City station, tell Natasha's story of difficulties with anxiety and depression

Great Northern operated by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), is helping Radio 1 highlight mental health issues in teenagers as part of the music station's My Mind and Me campaign.

Punk duo Slaves, pop singer Ella Eyre and emerging singer-songwriter Raye feature in a series of short films entitled Word of Mind on board the services to King's Cross and Moorgate in which the artists speak the stories of teens.

  • Slaves tell Natasha’s story - an 18 year old who spent most of her teenage years feeling “sad and helpless” because of untreated post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. In the last few years she’s found coping mechanisms through volunteering, music and being kinder to herself.
  • Ella Eyre tells Bryony’s story about managing the mental and physical effects of anxiety triggered by changes within her family, and trying to come out to her peers.
  • Raye recounts Blessing’s journey towards rebuilding her self-esteem after suffering emotional abuse within her family from an early age.

The short films are all available on the Radio 1 website and were released to coincide with World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10 October).

Passenger Services Director Stuart Cheshire said: "Mental health is an issue we should all talk about, not bottle up. We have had our own campaign here at GTR to encourage this and we jumped at the chance to help Radio 1 create these compelling short films to reach out to teenagers."

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Editor's notes

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Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – services between Bedford and Brighton, Luton/St Albans and Sutton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

GTR is the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff: GTR carries about 326 million passenger journeys per year, and employs around 6,500 people. Its aim is to improve services across all four networks.

Ticket revenue is passed to the government which pays GTR a fee to operate the franchise which is adjusted according to how well the train service is performing.

Southern has the highest passenger growth in the UK with numbers into London having doubled in 12 years - compared with the industry doubling over the past 20 years. To meet this growth and to future-proof the network, GTR is modernising the rail service for passengers.

GTR has introduced more new trains in the past year than all other franchises put together, with 500 new carriages so far.

The transformative £7bn Thameslink Programme will bring hundreds more daily services from 2018, increasing the number of trains though the central London core from up to 15 to 24 trains per hour. Network Rail has also launched a £300m programme to improve resilience across the GTR network

GTR is modernising how it works, with new technology in use at our stations and on our trains, smartcard ticketing and a new, flexible on-board role on many Southern services. This ensures fewer cancellations, and with more staff on board our trains now than ever before, passengers are enjoying a much better level of on-board customer service.

The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.

www.southernrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com,www.greatnorthernrail.com