Mental Health and Transport summit aims to change lives for those living with mental health difficulties


A national summit designed to highlight and improve transport accessibility issues for those living with a long term mental health condition including anxiety and anxiety based depression will bring together key policymakers, transport providers and representatives of those with personal experience in London this month (February 25th, 2016).

Sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT) and organised by Anxiety UK and the Mental Health Action Group (affiliated to Derbyshire Mind), the event will highlight the wide range of transport accessibility issues for the largest single sector of disabled people in the UK.

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health condition at some time in their lives and 1 in 10 people living with a long term mental health condition, the effort and commitment of transport companies to make their services more accessible for these customers will vastly improve their life opportunities.

The summit will focus on seven key questions that highlight how transport providers can deliver better services for the 1 in 4 people who may be experiencing a mental health condition:


  1. What are the barriers to travel for customers with a mental health condition?
  2. How do common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression impact on people’s ability to travel?
  3. How does poor customer service impact these customers?
  4. What tools can help you deliver a confident, first class customer experience?
  5. How can we learn lessons from across different types of transport about customer care solutions and good practice?
  6. What are the implications of transport legislation and policies on provision for passengers living with a mental health condition?
  7. What initiatives can deliver improved resilience and mental well-being for transport staff?

Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, said: ”I am very pleased to be sponsoring this important conference for the transport industry. Mental illness currently represents the largest single cause of disability with 1 in 4 in the UK affected every single year.

“Accessing transport can represent a huge challenge for many of these people and yet awareness and understanding of their difficulties remains low in the transport sector. Here is an excellent opportunity to gain a very clear understanding of those difficulties from the people who experience it directly and to explore strategies that will enable your company to offer them a first class service.”

Anxiety UK’s Chief Executive Nicky Lidbetter added: “Public and private sector transport providers that build mental health awareness and resilience into their company or business will deliver better results for the customer and ultimately improve accessibility and customer experience.

“This summit will provide them with an opportunity to hear about existing good practice and consider ways in which they can better meet the needs of these customers.”

 Mental Health Action Group Co-ordinator, Niki Glazier concluded “The Mental Health Action Group has been raising awareness of mental health and transport related issues since 2008. It is our aim to educate, inspire and empower transport operators to make the changes which will open up opportunities in every sphere of life for this sector of disabled people.”


Notes to Editors

Speakers scheduled for the event, further details are available here


Andrew Jones MP, Department for Transport

Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People

Philip Rutnam, Department for Transport

Alastair Campbell, Time to Change Ambassador

Laura Whitehurst, Anxiety UK

Experts by Experience, Mental Health Action Group

Joanna Dean, Mind

Sue Baker, Time to Change

Ben Gatty, Transport for London

Ann Frye, Independent Consultant & International Speaker


Anxiety UK is run by and for those living with and/or affected by anxiety disorders, stress and depression. With over 45 years of experience providing support, Anxiety UK delivers a range of services including a national information line, and talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling and clinical hypnotherapy through its network of Approved Therapists.


The Mental Health Action Group (MHAG) is run by individuals who are current or ex-users of mental health services in Derbyshire. We are dedicated to improving the lives of people who experience mental health problems. We work with groups and organisations to maintain and improve mental health services in Derbyshire and when necessary we work at a national level to promote necessary change in strategic thinking and policy.  01332 345966 x 1


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