Greater Anglia to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

Monday, 10 September 2018

Greater Anglia staff have helped to save more than 30 lives so far this year.

Figures show that from 1 January to 31 August Greater Anglia staff have staged 32 interventions where they have helped vulnerable or distressed people at stations across the network.

The train operator is showing its support for World Suicide Prevention day, on September 10, by bringing in additional Land Sheriffs and training more staff in suicide prevention, to help keep people safe on the railway.

Land Sheriffs have been offering support on the Greater Anglia network since July 2015. In total, the company has invested in 30 dedicated Land Sheriffs who patrol trains and stations in East Anglia. They aim to provide a reassuring presence and additional support to railway staff and the British Transport Police in keeping rail travellers safe and secure.

Yvonne Monaghan, Greater Anglia’s Suicide Prevention Manager, said: “We work in partnership with Samaritans, British Transport Police and Network Rail to prevent suicides on the railway. For every life lost, six are saved and we’re very proud of our colleagues who have carried out suicide interventions.

“We are doing everything we can to keep people safe while using our rail network. More staff than ever before have completed Samaritans’ managing suicidal contacts course, which helps train rail staff to approach vulnerable or distressed people.”

A total of 313 staff – more than 10% of the Greater Anglia workforce – have completed Samaritans’ managing suicidal contacts course, which is a one-day course tailored specifically to people working within the rail industry. It focuses on the benefits of a short conversation with someone who may be experiencing suicidal feelings and the techniques required to sensitively support that person and help begin their recovery.

These emotional ‘first aid skills’ are also beneficial when responding to family and friends who may visit the location following a loved one’s death and when supporting a colleague affected by trauma. They are also valuable in our personal lives, listening to friends or family in need.

Rail Pastors have also been patrolling trains and stations in Essex since the start of the year. They are an extension of the street pastors and are there to help anyone who is vulnerable or in need of help.

Anyone who needs to talk can call Samaritans on 116 123.