Great Western Railway is teaming up with the Samaritans to support Brew Monday on January 20.

The third Monday of January is often known as Blue Monday, the most difficult day of the year, so the railway company is inviting staff and customers to have a cuppa and a chat to beat the winter blues.

Brew Monday events will be held at offices, stations and depots across the GWR network to help spread the message that it’s okay not to be okay.

Samaritans volunteers will be at 11 stations, including Swindon's, handing out free tea bags and listening tips to get customers talking and listening better.

GWR has actively encouraged colleagues to open up about so-called taboo subjects like stress, depression, anxiety and the menopause.

More than 130 GWR staff volunteers, ranging from train managers to drivers and ticket staff to engineers, have been trained as mental health First Aiders.

Training is accredited by Mental Health England and the first aiders act as a point of contact for colleagues, providing a listening ear and suggesting help from the likes of GPs, Occupational Health Services and MIND.

Neil Peters, Samaritans Rail programme manager, said: “During the cold and grey winter months, connecting with others over a cuppa can help weather the ups and downs of life. Anyone can hold a Brew Monday event at work, at home, wherever and whenever you like – all you need is a kettle and some mugs, and this could make a huge difference in someone’s life.”