Engaging the rail industry in suicide prevention and support

A traumatic rail incident could happen anywhere at any time, so engaging the rail industry in suicide prevention is an important part of Samaritans' partnership with Network Rail. 

The Rail Industry Suicide Prevention Programme

The programme includes representatives from Network Rail, Samaritans, British Transport Police, Train Operating Companies, ATOC, RSSB, ASLEF, Unite, TSSA, RMT and NHS. They lead on suicide prevention and support across England, Scotland and Wales focussing on training, policies and procedures, innovations and communications and working with external agencies.

Engaging an industry that employs over 100,000 people within dozens of organisations across three countries is extremely challenging

Communicating key messages

One of the challenges for the Programme has been trying to reach frontline rail staff no matter where they work. Communications are essential and Samaritans, Network Rail, British Transport Police and other key partners, have developed various ways to communicate key messages in a way that inspires action. This includes the use of pocket sized handbooks, quick reference cards and videos of rail staff who have made potentially life-saving interventions, or witnessed a traumatic rail incident.

If you work within the rail industry and would like copies of our communications products, please get in touch.

London Underground

Samaritans also works with London Underground to promote suicide prevention. Find out more here. 

Working with international partners

The work of Samaritans and the Rail Industry Suicide Prevention Programme is considered leading edge and the Programme has played an important role in sharing best practice with rail industries across the world. This includes contributing to the European RESTRAIL (REduction of Suicides and Trespasses on RAILway property) project that finished in 2014 and included participants from 80 organisations across Europe, USA and Australia.

Samaritans has also been approached by rail organisations in Holland, Australia and other countries to learn more about our award winning Managing Suicidal Contacts course.