As part of the Abellio ScotRail Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention Week (4-8 September), leading up to World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday 10th our volunteers Maggie and Allan joined with Sheila (from Edinburgh Samaritans) and Ruth McBean (Railway Chaplain for Eastern Scotland) on Thursday 7th to hold Conversation Cafés on the Border Railway between Waverley and Tweedbank.
After an initial briefing by Ruth on the "dos and don'ts" on how to engage with passengers, our volunteers handed out bottles of water and snacks whilst explaining their presence on the train engaging in awareness conversations. A small wallet with cards and contact details from the Samaritans and NHS24 Breathing Space were provided at the end of each contact.
The response from passengers was generally very positive with many thanking us for taking time to be on their train and for raising awareness of our services and for listening to them. There have been similar groups of representatives on various trains and stalls throughout main stations throughout Scotland.
Ruth explained their concerns regarding suicides (on their Network) and how each one can affect up to 300 people. Going forward Ruth will call upon the Samaritans in Eastern Scotland for support following a suicide on their network.
Dunfermline Samaritans will continue to be involved with these Conversation Cafés and any other events we are invited to attend. If you or anyone you know have been affected by suicide or you need someone to listen to you please call our free phone number: 116 123, text: 07725 909090 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org