Rail Wellbeing LIVE 2021 has now opened registration and is the largest free online wellbeing event for the rail industry.
The event which will run on Wednesday the 17th and Thursday the 18th of November will see over 100 speakers alongside 75 pick n mix sessions. 2021 will see new features including 10pm evening sessions which is hoped will be accessible to frontline workers and also provide a chance to nominate a colleague for the Wellbeing Hero Award.
Guest speakers will include Bryony Gordon who is a mental health campaigner and also a best selling author, double gold olympic medalist Rebecca Adlington, Jason Fox star of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins and Dr Rupy Aujla who is a GP and creator of The Doctor’s Kitchen website.
The inaugural Rail Wellbeing Live event in 2020 was very successful, with more than 13,000 people taking part. Novembers event is set to be bigger and better and will be open to the 240,000-strong rail workforce, where suicides are one of the highest in UK employment at 1.6 times the national average.
£790m per year is the approximate cost of ill health within the rail industry and with a 3.9% absence rate due to both mental and physical health-related issues, which is more than double the amount of that in the private sector. The Office for National Statistics has reported that one in five adults in Britain during early 2021 experienced some form of depression, which is more than double the amount recorded pre-pandemic.
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance which is a cross-industry group including train operating companies, suppliers and industry bodies, came up with the idea for Rail Wellbeing Live as a free online two day event. The event brings the industry together to connect with high profile speakers and also to pick up inspiration, tips and guidance on how to deal with a large range of health and wellbeing issues.
Similar to the 2020 event Rail Wellbeing Live 2021 will cover all areas regarding health taking on a fun and engaging approach. Jason Fox will discuss building resilience during challenging times, whilst Rebecca Adlington will talk about balancing work and life and how to find what it truly important. The new 10pm session will also cover nutrition for shift workers and also tips on how to reduce fatigue.
The event will see four different themes with specific speakers and panel discussions covering inspirational health and wellbeing talks intended to inspire wellbeing journeys, sessions aimed at managers and leaders so that they can provide a healthy working environment, interactive and practical programmes to try new activities and approaches for physical and mental health, best practice industry sessions along with new well-being ideas and initiatives to use in your own company.
Activities will also be available to take part in such as breathing exercises, meditation or making use of music in an approach to manage emotions. All of the actives can be carried out at home or in a mess room.
The full content of the event will be live-streamed and will also be available 24/7 for two weeks following the event, but registration is needed to access it. Those registering for the event before the 30th of September will get entered into a prize draw and also given the chance to nominate a colleague for a Wellbeing Hero Award, the winner of which will be announced at Rail Wellbeing Live. The Award is aimed at somebody who has exceeded expectations in the promotion of health and well-being delivery within the rail industry.
To register for the event visit: www.railwellbeinglive.co.uk
John Halsall, chair of the Rail Wellbeing Alliance and managing director for Network Rail’s Southern Region, said: “We know that 60% of workers have experienced mental health issues at some point, and with the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19, there has never been a more important time to look after ourselves and our colleagues.
“Rail Wellbeing Live is about giving everyone in the industry the chance to tap into inspirational speakers who will be offering practical guidance on health and wellbeing issues whether it be stress, loneliness, relationships or depression. Last year, former RMT general secretary Mick Cash shared an incredibly moving account about his own battle with mental health which led to many others opening up about their own experience and getting the support they needed.
“So, it doesn’t matter where you work in the rail industry, so long as you have a mobile device or access to a computer, you can join us 17 to 18 November and we really hope you do. All the content is free, so please spread the word as we’d like as many people to benefit from this event as possible.”
Dr Michelle O’Sullivan, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and technical lead for the event said: “Since Covid-19, we’ve seen rates of anxiety and depression increase over three-fold. There’s no easy solution when so much is outside our control. At this year’s Rail Wellbeing Live we’re going to focus on the things that are within our control and provide as many tools as possible to build back better for ourselves and our communities.”
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