Photo courtesy of: http://www.marketingmag.ca/media/fare-press-qa-with-toronto-transit-commissions-brad-ross-143006
East York- Brad Ross, head of communications for the TTC, is supporting customers in their struggle with mental health. A “personal injury at track level” refers to a suicide. Over this past summer, this incident was announced on the PA system.
Ross responded on Twitter to a frustrated TTC rider-
“They’re people who are distressed and chose to tragically end their lives.”, Ross Tweeted on August 2nd, 2016.
His response shows TTC’s support for mental health as a whole. He was praised on social media for his honest reply. This ongoing dialogue concerning mental health is timely. Mental Health Awareness Day was on October 10th, so it is crucial to talk about the well-being and safety of people who are in distress.
“There are one to two suicides per month (involving the TTC) that is 1-2 too many.”
Ross says to Centennial Journalism students on Thursday. The well-being of the riders is priority to TTC. Ross also encourages all commuters to “see something, say something.” This mentality ensures safety for all customers. This includes support for those with mental health issues.
Ross outlines the various ways TTC customers can reach out, and remove the stigma around mental health issues. In every subway station, there is a Crisis Link Hotline, available at all hours. Commuters in distress can use this feature to speak with a trained councillor, should they be contemplating ending their life. These strategies, in hopes, will lower the TTC’s suicide rate.
Ross also explains how all TTC employees are trained in mental health coping mechanisms. Special Constables can transport people in distress to the hospital when needed, as outlined under the Mental Health Act.
The CBC reports: “Toronto’s subway system saw significantly fewer people try to kill themselves in 2015 — with five attempted suicides and 11 completed suicides over the course of the year.” This may be due to the rise in Mental Health awareness, and Brad Ross is happy to see it through.