If Your World is Drama Free - Disability History Month

2020-12-08 -
Array, ASLEF
Tom Harcourt has a large beard and is wearing a green t-shirt and looking at the camera. Behind him is a row of windows with light coming in.

UK Disability History Month runs from 18th November to 18th December 2020. ASLEF is marking the month with a series of blogs from members of our Disabled members forum , sharing their experiences of disability in the workplace.

Disabled members forum District 8 representative Tom Harcourt writes about depression.

I was once told, being a train driver is the best job in the world if your world is drama free. 

This is true. 

But also, the total opposite is true. 

If you have things on your plate, mental health issues like me, or just a slight worry then driving a train is literally the worst job. 

8 hours a day, with no one to talk to or vent at, is lonely. Add to that the 'macho' environment - especially for male drivers where men don't talk about their problems - creates a world of overthinking. Causing a snowball effect of problems - mini problems in the morning become a mountain in the evening. 

Depression is hard enough with someone to talk to, but worse when you're on your own. Being part of the ASLEF Disabled Members Forum, and speaking from the experience of someone who's had depression and is a train driver, I want to make people realise it’s important to talk. 

No matter how small the problem is, find someone to talk to!

If you need support or advice with mental health, or just someone to talk to, there is advice available from the charity Mind here.

You can also call the Samaritans, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123. More information here.

If you are experiencing mental health problems at work, you can speak to your ASLEF local representative, equality rep or your representative on the Disabled Members Forum.

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This is part of a series of blog posts marking Disability History Month, written by members of ASLEF's Disabled Members Forum.