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Distressed Commuters 'Sign of Times' - Cortes

13 November 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has described as "shocking but not surprising" the findings of a new survey showing nearly one in eight (12 per cent) of train commuters has travelled to work feeling distressed.

The study was commissioned by Mental Health UK which is now raising concerns about what the organisation describes as ‘high numbers of people on the daily commute experiencing severe anxiety or strain, whether that's struggling with a mental health problem, feeling emotionally overwhelmed or experiencing suicidal thoughts’.

Cortes said: “These are shocking but perhaps not surprising findings. Frankly it’s an outrage that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world there are people struggling in this way and on this scale.

“This is a sign of the times; a consequence of the long, brutal years of Conservative austerity which have cut not only mental health services, but public services across the board.

“What we are seeing in this survey is the all too real human cost of austerity. The fact is people already stressed or acutely anxious, will not be helped in the least by travelling on overcrowded and over-priced trains.

“That is no way to begin the working day. Thankfully the people of our country have the means to change things – by voting Labour on the 12th December. Doing so will reverse the years of cuts and herald a new era of public rail travel with real and lasting investment, ending two decades of the privatisation rip off.”


TSSA has pledged to change the way we think about mental health at work. We encourage members to talk about mental health to breakdown the stigma associated with mental ill-health and enable others to ask for help.

Our union has signed the Time to Change pledge

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