London Underground Partnership

Samaritans’ partnership with London Underground ran from September 2013 to December 2014 and aimed to reduce suicides on the network by using a combination of staff training, outreach work and communications campaigns. 

Key achievements:

  • Over 800 staff trained on the Managing Suicidal Contacts course
  • A series of Station Awareness Days held at stations across the underground network
  • 24,000 copies of the ‘Introduction to suicide prevention and support on the Underground’ pocket handbook distributed to London Underground staff

Following on from this partnership Samaritans worked with London Underground in 2015 to design and create a video-based suicide prevention learning resource for London Underground staff. Find out more about the Suicide Prevention and Support on the Underground Learning Tool.

 

Training

The one-day Managing Suicidal Contacts (MSC) course provided London Underground staff with an awareness and understanding of suicidal behaviour, and equipped staff with the skills and confidence to identify, approach and intervene with potentially suicidal people.

The MSC course received consistently excellent feedback.  The post-course evaluation showed that:

  • 10% of respondents had engaged with a potentially suicidal person since the course
  • 57% had used the skills learnt in other aspects of their work
  • 99% had found the course helpful
  • 99% would recommend the MSC to colleagues

As I’ve told many of my work colleagues, this course was one of the most informative ones I’ve been on in a very long career filled with attending many courses. I recommend it to anyone I get a chance to

Outreach

A series of Station Awareness Days were held at stations across the Underground network. Samaritans volunteers worked in partnership with British Transport Police officers and London Underground staff to raise awareness of the support Samaritans can provide to all those who are struggling to cope, not just those who are suicidal. During these outreach sessions volunteers talked to a number of people who were in need of further support and were referred on to Samaritans services.

 

Communications

Samaritans produced a range of bespoke communications materials for London Underground, including contact cards, Oystercard wallets, training materials and a variety of posters.

A pocket handbook called ‘An Introduction to Suicide Prevention and Support on the Underground’ was created. It was designed to help staff remember the ‘5 STEPS’ involved in identifying, approaching and referring a potentially suicidal person, as well as providing information on support available to staff after an incident.  The handbook also included a credit card sized quick reference guide.  24,000 copies were printed and distributed to London Underground staff.