Published on: Friday, 8 September 2023
Last updated: Friday, 8 September 2023
Greater Anglia is showing its support for World Suicide Prevention Day, on September 10, by training more staff in suicide prevention and reintroducing Rail Pastors to the network, to help keep people safe on the railway.
Already, Greater Anglia staff have helped to save almost 50 lives so far this year.
Figures show that from 1 January to 31 August Greater Anglia staff have staged 48 interventions where they have helped vulnerable or distressed people at stations across the network.
A total of 475 staff – more than 15% 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.
The aim is to continue to increase the number of staff who have completed the course.
Georgia Payne, Greater Anglia’s Safeguarding and Trespass Prevention Lead, 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 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.”
Rail Pastors are back patrolling the network from Shenfield to Southend Victoria, Shenfield to Colchester Town and Harlow Town to Cambridge after an absence of nearly three years due to the pandemic.
Rail pastors, who returned to the network in June, patrol throughout the day and into the evening, visiting stations and boarding trains and helping anyone who is vulnerable, distressed, or in need of some assistance.
Anyone who needs to talk can call Samaritans on 116 123.