TasRail gets behind R U OK? Day

SUPPORT NETWORK: TasRail's specialist safety and risk management advisor Angela Jeffery with chief executive Damien White.

SUPPORT NETWORK: TasRail's specialist safety and risk management advisor Angela Jeffery with chief executive Damien White.

Angela Jeffery knows how difficult it can be to answer the question asked on September 14.

TasRail’s specialist safety and risk management advisor has endured two breakdowns, months in hospital and multiple misdiagnoses since her teenage years.

It was only after she “reached crisis point” four years ago that she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and was able to work toward managing her condition. 

Ms Jeffery said it took a long time for her to be able to share her story.

“It’s very hard to ask for help or for a person to say they are not OK,” she said.

“In the years since that part of my life, I’ve been able to speak more openly in the hope I can assist others to speak out.”

Ms Jeffery started at TasRail nine months ago, upon which she had an open and confidential discussion with her manager about her condition. She said the support of her workplace has been invaluable.

“Train drivers and rail operators work long hours, some of which are in isolation, so it can be difficult to have support in that environment,” she said.

“Tasrail has really worked at putting processes and assistant avenues in place for people to come forward, and making it a really safe place for people to say ‘I’m not OK’.”

Thursday was not the only R U OK? day for TasRail, with an industry-specific version of the initiative held in April.

TasRail is also a member of TrackSAFE, which the rail industry established to reduce near collisions, injuries and fatalities on the rail network.

TasRail chief executive Damien White said there were multiple programs designed to assist employees.

“Unfortunately, there is the potential for a higher exposure to traumatic events within our industry,” he said.

“We have an employee assistance program, as well as a peer support program.

“There is also a lot of support from managers who have been in the industry for a long time, and are aware of what people can go through.”

R U OK? Day is held every year on September 14.

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