Dublin taxi drivers have always been renowned for their conversational skills and some will now be able to use these gifts to make a positive impact on society.
A group of drivers have received training from Aware in how to talk to passengers who are showing signs of depression, anxiety or distress.
The workshop was given by Aware’s Director of Services Brid O’Meara and speaking at the launch, she said:
"Taxi drivers are very well placed in the community to assist in the reduction of stigma in the area of mental health.
"Our first workshop with drivers, which is hopefully the beginning of many, was a very valuable opportunity to impress upon the drivers the role they can play in signposting information and supporting services where appropriate. There is real potential for taxi drivers to foster positive change as part of this campaign.”
The training is a joint initiative of mytaxi and Aware and is aimed at promoting positive mental health. Driver Christopher Flynn attended the three-hour workshop and said:
“The Aware workshop andintroductory training gave me a real insight into the mental health challenges faced by so many people in Ireland on a daily basis. It supported real awareness-building for me, and I now feel better equipped to impact positively on the general population around mental health issues. I would strongly urge my colleagues to also get involved in this campaign - our daily interaction with the public gives us a real opportunity to relieve some of the pressures felt by those suffering in this area.”