Milton Keynes train passengers urged to make small talk to save lives

Postado Novembro 15, 2017

Commuters are being urged to step in if they see vulnerable people near railway tracks, as part of a campaign to prevent suicide.

Network Rail, British Transport Police and train operators have launched the campaign in partnership with the Samaritans - the "listening" charity.

He told Sky News: "More and more we are dealing with mental health issues and people who are trying to take their own life".

"The more that people understand that suicide is preventable, the better".

Although more than 16,000 station staff and BTP officers have already been trained by Samaritans to be be alert for ominous behaviour, such as someone staying at the end of a platform for no apparent reason, the new campaign involves passengers for the first time as well.

"Further research showed the majority are willing to act, but many wanted guidance on how to help, and reassurance they wouldn't 'make things worse". "Just stopping to talk to someone for a few minutes can make a huge difference and can help to save a life".

Small Talk Saves Lives has been developed after research showed passengers have a key role to play in suicide prevention.

The hope is that by appealing to members of the public, the number of life-saving interventions being made across Britain will increase further. An even higher number, almost nine out of 10 thought a person in need of support would find it hard to ask for help.

While there is no single sign or combination of behaviours that mean a person is suicidal, the advice to the public is that if something doesn't feel right - act. Different courses of action are suggested, depending on the situation and the response. If they do not have the confidence to approach them, they are encouraged to speak to a member of staff.

Ian Stevens from Network Rail, who manages the suicide prevention programme on behalf of the rail industry, said: "Given that almost five million journeys are made by train every day, we are asking for passengers to work alongside our staff as the eyes and ears of the railway, helping us to keep everybody safe".

"Suicide is everybody's business and any one of us could have an opportunity to save a life", said Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of the Samaritans.

"If it were your loved one, a daughter or son, husband or wife who was going through an emotional crisis, wouldn't you hope that somebody took the time to stop and ask if they were OK? Even if in doubt, you can always report concerns to a member of staff or a police officer, but please act if your instinct is telling you that something is wrong".

There's some data behind the claim, too; a survey of 5,000 people found that 83 per cent of those asked said they would intervene and try to help someone or at least talk to them if it looked like they were about to bung themselves under a train.