Brighter Journeys

23red and Sense

Railway stations. To the public they’re often seen as purely functional, designed only for utility. Anonymous and transient. And because of this they’re often a focal point for those suffering from a mental health crisis, with staff and passengers dealing with around 25 incidences a week across the network.

Network Rail and the wider rail industry wanted to challenge this perception and, in the run up to World Mental Health Day, use stations to engage passengers in a positive conversation about mental wellbeing. ‘Brighter Journeys’ was created to raise the profile of stations as positive community spaces whilst, at the same time, signposting those that might need support with their mental wellbeing to the Hub of Hope app.

It's scientifically proven that spending time interacting with nature makes people happier. So, we brought nature into stations across the country through a sensory installation, alongside nature-inspired poems printed on seeded leaflets, in-station departure boards and posters to lift people’s mood on their journey.

It was promoted through station posters and out of home, social media and a partnership with Metro newspaper, as well as being captured in a piece of film and talked about across radio, TV interviews and podcasts.

All this contributed to a 14% increase in those who saw stations as community hubs and happier places.

And 83% of people who saw the campaign said they were more confident in knowing where to seek support for their mental health, with app downloads increasing by 20% during the campaign period.