If you’re reading this on your morning commute the chances are you are surrounded by passengers all sitting with that typical ‘off to work face’.
However, as a rail passenger, you can make a real difference in helping reduce the rate of suicide on the railway.
Small Talk Saves Lives Campaign
Small Talk Saves Lives is a joint partnership between Network Rail, Samaritans, the British Transport police, train operating companies and the wider rail industry.
In 2017/2018 there were more 1900 life-saving interventions reported by the British Transport Police, of which just 160 were carried out by members of the public.
With this in mind, an ongoing campaign asks passengers to act on their instincts.
Those instincts may include noticing someone acting like they may need help.
It can take just a couple of words at the right time to help interrupt a persons suicidal thoughts.
These words can be as simple as “Can’t believe this weather…”
Between January and September of 2018 life-saving public interventions was higher by 20%, compared to the same time last year.
Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans said:
It’s really heartening to see more members of the public feeling they have the confidence and knowledge to act if they’re worried about someone, and we’re grateful for their support. Suicide is preventable and any one of us could have the opportunity to save a life.
“A phrase as simple as, ‘I can’t believe this weather’, could be enough to interrupt a person’s suicidal thoughts. Even if small talk doesn’t come naturally to you, if something doesn’t feel right, please try to start a conversation. There’s no evidence you’ll make things worse.
Help save a life
Throughout the next two weeks, commuters will begin to hear special announcements from TV personality Gaby Roslin across the rail network.
At some stations people will also see Samaritans volunteers handing out information on how passengers can help save a life.
Along side this a larger media campaign has been launched including a new campaign video.
The campaign video focuses on encouraging other rail users to look out for one another and to help give people the confidence to make small talk.
Help save a life, and make small talk with someone.