Does it work?
Transport For London (TFL) backed a campaign started by a customer it simply asked people to look up. The intention is to encourage to look up from their newspaper book or ultimately their electronic device.
This started as a result of a service user who suffered from chronic pain not being given a seat, you are not expected to know if someone needs a seat but by looking ups you can see the various badges that TFL provide that help indicate the person may need that seat.
I’ve spent many hours travelling on various modes of transport in and around the city, my illness is hidden, however I have an assistance dog called Ziggy, his jacket reads;
I AM WORKING PLEASE IGNORE ME
I accept that people will not have knowledge of what each of these amazing animals can do however its reasonable to assume that if you see a dog that says they are working, then its likely that dog is enabling the owner to do some of ‘normal’ things that others take for granted.
It happens when you have a dog the reactions vary from people trying to distract Ziggy on purpose to showing a genuine interest in him. The number of times I have got on public transport with Ziggy had had people rush forwards sometimes knocking and forcing their way past Ziggy to get on, mostly to get that much valued seat or space not under the tall persons armpit.
So do they look up ? Yes however not on one single occasion have I been offered a seat, I don’t always need one it depends on my condition on any given day.
In short the only way that these campaigns make a difference is if YOU as that person sat down looks up and offers your seat. In an ideal world there should be a chorus of harmony and
“WOULD YOU LIKE A SEAT”
Lets change this don’t just look up and hope someone else offers take the lead and offer yours.
It’s time to change.
It is by no accident that the title of this blog matches that of the announcement by Prince William of the new website http://www.mentalheallthatwork.org.uk .
Holding down employment full time, part time, contractor, zero hours or self employed all add to the inevitable stresses of life. its been a long time coming the need for mental health to be tackled head on.
Charities like Mind, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and Head Together have all been working hard to break the stigma and get the conversation started. I am without doubt the campaigns they have run have started the ball rolling.
It is clear that the ball sits firmly in our court now, yes our court not just your employer but us, you as colleagues. You’ll be surprised how simple acts can make the difference, we have all seen the signs and yes if you care about mental health you would have both acknowledged the flyers and spoken about it.
Its the small things that make a difference if you’ve got this far you will have realised that you have a responsibility to make the difference. Remember everyone is different so there is no hard and fast rule in the management of mental health be it yours or someone elses.
Consider some of these;
• Talk about your feelings
• Keep active
• Eat well
• Drink sensibly
• Keep in touch
• Ask for help
• Take a break
• Do something you’re good at
• Accept who you are
• Care about someone.