New mental health training tool launched for UK coach drivers
A training aid to help coach drivers in dealing with passengers who have mental health conditions has been developed.
The ‘1 in 4 People (coach version)’ titled training DVD has been produced by industry bodies the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), the Association of Trainers and the Guild of British Coach Operators in partnership with the Mental Health Action Group and with support from Shearings Holidays, National Express and Skills Coaches of Nottingham.
The initiative was launched at the recent Coach & Bus Live Expo in Birmingham by Traffic Commissioner for the north east of England Kevin Rooney.
The DVD and accompanying workbook have been approved as being suitable for a 3½ hour Driver CPC course as part of a Disability Awareness module and the material aims to boost the confidence of drivers when assisting passengers who:
- Require patience and assistance but have no visible mobility impairment
- May feel extremely anxious about coach travel
- May behave in ways that are difficult to understand to the driver and/or other passengers
- May find it difficult to ask for the help they need.
Traffic Commissioner Rooney said: “This course, developed with the input of patient representatives, demonstrates the commitment of professional coach operators and drivers to ensure their services are fully inclusive for all.”
CPT’s Operations Director Stephen Smith said: “About a quarter of the population experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year and many of these are hidden illnesses which are extremely difficult to spot.
“The coach industry has long recognised the importance of ensuring its drivers undertake disability awareness training as part of the Driver CPC and this new DVD and accompanying workbook will provide vital support and awareness training for our many thousands of drivers across the country.”
Niki Glazier of the Mental Health Action Group Co-ordinators said: “Our members have been pleased to share their real life experience of coach travel and the difficulties and barriers that they encounter.
“We very much hope that coach companies will take advantage of this opportunity to understand the needs of so many existing and potential customers.”
- The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is the national trade association representing bus and coach operators
- The Association of Trainers provide a quality assurance scheme for PSV and freight vehicle operators wishing to purchase Driver CPC Periodic Training
- The Guild of British Coach Operators is an association of top quality coach companies dedicated to providing our customers with a first class service
- The Mental Health Action Group is run by individuals who are current or ex-users of mental health services in Derbyshire. The group is dedicated to improving the lives of people who have mental health problems.