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Mental Health and Transport Summit

Thursday 25th February 2016 at 20 Cavendish Square, London

The Department for Transport sponsored this important national summit to highlight transport accessibility issues for the largest single sector of disabled people in the UK. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition at some time in their lives and 1 in 10 people live with a long term mental health condition. Making your services more accessible for these customers will vastly improve their life opportunities and potentially increase your customer base and revenue.

Mental Health Action Group and Anxiety UK organised this important summit to provide a unique opportunity for attendees to hear the direct voice of experience and to explore customer care transport solutions. Building mental health awareness and resilience into your company will deliver better results for the customer and ultimately improve accessibility and customer experience. There was the opportunity to hear about existing good practice and consider ways in which your company can better meet the needs of these customers. This summit will be relevant for all transport sectors.

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.

Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport

The 7 questions to 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 symptoms 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?

To view the Agenda for the Mental Health and Transport Summit please click here

Presentation Downloads

Please find the presentations that we are able to share from the day;

All Aboard!
Laura Whitehurst, Anxiety UK

Mind the Gap
Joanna Dean, Mind’s Legal Team

Changing Attitudes towards Mental Health
Rosie McKearney

Building a Mentally Healthy and Resilient Workforce
Ben Gatty & Errol B Dinnall, Transport for London

Please note, this summit was invite only as we have limited spaces available. If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224508


Thursday 25th February 2016

Please note all speaker, content and timings are subject to change

09:15Registration and refreshments
09:55Welcome from Ann Frye OBE
10:00Opening comments from Alastair Campbell
10:15First Stop: Panic Station - How does a mental health condition affect your mobility? Mental Health Action Group
10:45All Aboard! - How does mobility affect your mental health? Laura Whitehurst (Anxiety UK)
11:15Mind the Gap - The Equality Act and Mental Health, Joanna Dean (Mind’s Legal Team)
11:25Refreshment Break
11:45Fitting Your Own Oxygen Mask before Helping Others - Changing Attitudes towards Mental Health, Sue Baker (Director, Time to Change)
11:45followed by - Building a Mentally Healthy and Resilient Workforce, Ben Gatty & Errol B Dinnall (Transport for London)
12:30Lunch, Networking and Information Stands
13:30Travel Related Performance, Sophie Winter (Actress)
13:40Setting the Satnav – The Call to Action - Priority Action Areas for all Transport Stakeholders, Andrew Jones (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State - Dept for Transport)
13:50Signposts to Success – Good Practice Workshops
14:50Upgrading to First Class Travel - Break-Out Groups formulating response to ‘Call to Action’
15:30Refreshment Break
15:45'Call to Action’ Panel Session - Introductory Address, Justin Tomlinson (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DWP)
15:55'Call to Action’ Panel Session - Panel Members: Justin Tomlinson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DWP, Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at DfT, Mental Health Action Group Representative, Laura Whitehurst, Anxiety UK
16:20Concluding Remarks, Ann Frye

Speakers and Facilitators


Philip Rutnam, Department for Transport

Philip Rutnam joined the Department for Transport (DfT) as Permanent Secretary in April 2012. Before joining DfT, Philip was the Director General, Business and Skills, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). He was responsible for policy on industry and enterprise, including regional economic development and support for small business. Before joining BIS, Philip helped to establish Ofcom and then led its work on competition, economic regulation and use of the radio spectrum.

In April 2015, Philip became the Civil Service Disability Champion.

Philip will be a Panel Member.


Alastair Campbell, Time to Change Ambassador

Writer, Communicator and Time to Change Ambassador

Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in politics and campaigns in Britain and overseas, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, charities and consultancy.

He has for many years been chairman of fund-raising of Bloodwise, Britain’s main blood cancer charity, but in recent years has become increasingly involved with mental health charities and causes. A former ‘Mind Champion of the Year’, he is an ambassador for the Time to Change campaign to raise awareness about mental illness, ambassador for Alcohol Concern, patron of Maytree, the country’s only charity for the suicidal, and of Kidstime, which supports the children of mentally ill parents. He co-founded the all-party campaign, Equality4MentalHealth, which was credited in Parliament by Chancellor George Osborne with securing an extra £600million for mental health services in the 2005 spending review.


Andrew Jones MP, Department for Transport

Andrew Jones was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Transport in May 2015. He was elected the Conservative MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough in May 2010.

From May 2003 to May 2011 Andrew was a local councillor on Harrogate Borough Council, representing the High Harrogate ward. He was also Cabinet Member for Resources from May 2003 to May 2010.

Since being elected in 2010, Andrew has been a Parliamentary Private Secretary on the health, business and transport teams. He has also chaired the Northern Electrification Taskforce which provided the Secretary of State for Transport with advice on the next steps for electrification of railways in the North of England.


Laura Whitehurst, Anxiety UK

Laura is Anxiety UK’s Training and Partnerships Coordinator who joined Anxiety UK in early 2015. Laura is responsible for building and maintaining Partnerships with the charity, along with providing and delivering in depth and bespoke training programmes to businesses, organisations, schools and universities regarding mental health.

She graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Law in 2011 and has ample previous experience with various charitable organisations, including youth charities and within hospitality and events management. Laura has a very keen interest and an in depth knowledge of all aspects of mental health, including her own personal experiences, and is eager to improve awareness and diminish the stigma related to anxiety disorders and common mental health issues.


Experts by Experience, Mental Health Action Group

The Mental Health Action Group has more than 20 years experience in campaigning for improvements in the lives of people experiencing a mental health condition. We are led by our members who have their own lived experience of mental health conditions and work tirelessly to raise awareness of this hidden disability. Since 2008 we have been particularly interested in improving understanding within the transport industry about the barriers and obstacles faced by this sector of disabled people. In 2011 we carried out a national survey resulting in a report (‘Mental Health & Public Transport’) which highlighted the need for substantial improvements in access and support. We believe that a little knowledge and understanding goes a long way and we are keen to empower transport companies to offer this support with both confidence and enthusiasm.


Joanna Dean, Mind

Joanna is a lawyer in Mind’s Legal Unit. She contributes to Mind’s policy work, undertakes casework which has a wider public interest for people with mental health problems, writes legal publications on the law relating to mental health and supervises Mind’s legal advice line.
Prior to joining Mind, Joanna worked in private practice as a specialist mental health solicitor representing patients detained under the Mental Health Act, including prisoners. She also spent time working as a discrimination law caseworker at Flintshire Citizens Advice Bureau where her work led to the formation of a monthly LGBT support group.
Joanna volunteers for Liberty in her spare time, providing telephone advice to members of the public on human rights law.


Sue Baker, Time to Change

Sue leads Time to Change, England’s largest ever programme to end mental health stigma & discrimination. She is responsible for leading & delivering this exciting social movement in England. Time to Change is an ambitious £24 million programme (funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief & the Big Lottery Fund) being delivered by leading mental health charities Mind & Rethink Mental Illness.

Sue previously worked for the leading mental health charity in New Zealand setting up marketing, campaigns & fundraising programmes & supporting the ground-breaking campaign to address the discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems, using human rights & mental health promotion models. She also worked for nine years as Head of Media at Mind, in particular carrying out the UK’s first survey of the extent & impact of discrimination (in the mid-90s).

She has also been a Director of a leading substance misuse charity where she was responsible for marketing treatment services, delivering business growth & developing marketing & fundraising.

She lived in London for almost 20 years before moving to Whitstable on the North Kent coastline – famous for its oysters – she is married & enjoys photography, nature & gardening, & ‘light’ runs along the beach listening to seagulls.

Sue studied marketing & advertising at the University of the West of England & in her career has worked in charities, councils & in PR & advertising agencies.


Ben Gatty, Transport for London

Ben Gatty is a psychotherapist and trainer, working within Transport for London (TfL)’s Occupational Health service.

He is Co-ordinator of TfL’s Trauma Support Group, a peer helper network for staff experiencing work-place trauma or high levels of stress. He also leads on TfL’s Mental Health First Aid peer helper programme - a pilot project offering buddy support to those experiencing mental health difficulties. Additionally he provides one to one counselling to TfL staff.

Ben is the Chair of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy’s Workplace Trauma Network. He has been seeing psychotherapy clients for close to 10 years.

Ann Frye, Independent Consultant & International Speaker

Ann Frye is an international specialist on the mobility needs of older and disabled people. Ann chairs the Transportation Committee of GAATES (the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments) and co-chairs the US Transportation Research Board subcommittee on International Activities in Accessible Transportation and Mobility. Until 2012, she was chair of the sub-committee on mobility of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). She works as an expert advisor on both international and UK projects on accessibility, including developing and establishing best practice in delivering accessibility and mobility options for people with physical and mental health conditions.

Ann will be a Panel Member.

Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People

Justin Tomlinson was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People on 12 May 2015. He was first elected as Member of Parliament for Swindon North in May 2010.

His responsibilities include: cross-government disability issues and strategy, disability benefits (Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance), mental health matters, carers, appeals reform, Access to Work and Health and Safety Executive.

Justin will be a Panel Member.

Erroll B Dinnall

Errol B. Dinnall is an Integrative Psychotherapist. He has been working within Transport for London (TfL)’s Occupational Health Service for nearly 17 years. Errol is a senior member of staff, and plays a lead role in supporting and managing the Counselling Department at both a clinical and non-clinical level. In addition to providing one to one therapy and clinical support, he also runs therapeutic groups, conducts audits, and devises programmes to address the mental health needs of staff.

Errol has worked within Domestic Violence Programmes and for the Probation Service, and is a founding member of an innovative project targeting the mental health needs of men.


20 Cavendish Square

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