TTC takes steps to better serve commuters dealing with mental health concerns

Posted
November 13, 2017
Article Source
CityNews.ca

While most TTC riders are all too familiar with a frustrating commute, for those dealing with mental health issues, riding the rocket can sometimes mean compounded feelings of anxiety and stress.

The TTC is now taking steps to better serve that group by providing mental health awareness training to some of their staff. To that end, workshops are being held in collaboration with Progress Place, a community based mental health recovery centre.

"We do hear stories from our members that come in and might have had some frustration on the TTC," says Criss Habal, Executive Director of Progress Place.

"People don’t always understand if someone is asking questions, or trying to figure out where they are, or if they are having anxiety or maybe talking to themselves trying to figure it out," she says.

Progress Place has helped train more than 120 TTC staff members including special constables, enforcement officers, wheel-trans operators and even customer services representatives who staff their call centre.

"We get calls from people who are highly anxious, struggling with the crowds, or having trouble finding their way," says Kirsten Walker, a Change Management Consultant with the TTC’s wheel-trans program.

She says the training is especially relevant now that the program eligibility has changed to include riders with cognitive, mental health, and sensory disabilities.

Read more: TTC takes steps to better serve commuters dealing with mental health concerns