Around 4% of suicides in the UK occur on the railways. In 2010 Samaritans began a partnership with network rail to combat this. By the end of that year Network Rail reported a 13 % decline in suicides.
These signs can now be found around train and tube stations across London.
Fiona Malcolm, Samaritans deputy CEO, says:
“We have trained nearly 10,000 rail industry staff to spot vulnerable people and intervene if they think they are at risk of taking their own life. Over 175 staff interventions have been reported to Samaritans since 2010, and in the last 12 months, interventions by rail staff have risen by 60 per cent.”
“Samaritans welcomes additional safety measures introduced by Network Rail at stations such as mid-platform fencing, platform hatching, trespass guards, platform end barriers and smart cameras. These changes help to make travelling on the railways safer for everyone.”
Such a tragic event also impacts on commuters and train drivers. Jasper Hunt, a student at Liverpool University, witnessed a railway suicide. He says “It was really awful, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and his family”
In addition to the 5 million calls they answer every year, Samaritans volunteers hold awareness raising events at stations to help reach out to commuters and railway passengers. The group also supports communities in the aftermath of a railway suicide.
If you feel you need someone to talk with the Samaritans are always happy to listen. They provide a 24 hour, free and confidential service:
Call 116 123