30/09/2015 - Guild supports new mental health awareness training DVD for coach drivers

Launch of "1 in 4" DVD

evin Rooney, Traffic Commissioner for the north east of England, has today launched a new training aid designed to assist coach drivers in their dealings with passengers who have hidden mental health conditions - that's a quarter of the population.

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 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 they will go a long way to helping drivers to feel more confident 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.

Guild PR1Speaking from the launch at the Coach & Bus Live trade show in Birmingham, 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."  

Richard Delahoy from the Guild of British Coach Operators added: "We are very pleased to have been able to support this important training initiative, both by contributing towards the filming costs and through our member Skills Holidays providing a coach and filming facilities.  Particular thanks are due to their trainer, Tony Lambell, for his hard work."

Niki Glazier of the Mental Health Action Group Co-ordinators said: "The Mental Health Action Group is delighted to have been involved in this Coach version of '1 in 4 People'. 
"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."

Kevin Rooney, Traffic Commissioner for the north east of England added: "Traffic Commissioners understand that coach operators provide an essential service to a wide variety of communities and customers, some of whom may have mental health issues. 

"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."     

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