BUS operator Transdev has launched a new drive to boost mental health care for its employees and customers.

The firm, which runs Keighley Bus Company, has unveiled a series of measures to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

Transdev has revised its Certificate of Professional Competence training for all drivers, to strengthen the focus on protecting and improving mental health.

And drivers are being given specific training in how to help passengers who may be displaying early signs of a mental health episode.

In addition, 11 managers from across the company have gained a Level 3 mental health first aid qualification, following sessions delivered in partnership with St John Ambulance and supported by the Royal Society for Public Health.

It is planned to train more employees to the same standard, with the aim of ensuring they have the knowledge to spot any issues early and offer appropriate care and advice.

All the firm's 1,200 staff have access to an independent, confidential telephone advice line which offers round-the-clock support.

Claire Swann, Transdev's head of people, says: "Leaving the car at home and walking to the bus stop is of course a great way that anyone can incorporate the benefits of exercise into their daily lives, but we also know how important it is to ensure that all our staff feel supported in terms of their own mental health – and that our managers and trainers have the skills required to offer help.

"It’s also vital that our drivers are able to notice early signs and symptoms of mental health issues in our customers. Early intervention can reduce the impact of an episode, which may become very serious if left to develop.

"We believe mental health should be treated equally with physical fitness – and this additional training will help our managers and trainers to build confidence in their roles as mental health first aiders, which can only be good for everyone in our teams across the region."

Charity the Mental Health Foundation is spearheading a nationwide series of activities as part of the awareness week.

Events centre around the theme, Movement: Moving More For Our Mental Health.

Tips on simple ways of incorporating more movement into your daily routine can be found on the charity's website, at mentalhealth.org.uk

The site also contains a wide range of information to help people with their mental health, resources and details of where you can get support.