Samaritans' work preventing railway suicides 

In 2010, Samaritans and Network Rail formed a partnership to try to reduce the number of suicides on the railway and improve support to those affected by them. 

Part of the partnership is to train staff on how to approach and help a person who might be at risk.

Samaritans' work on suicide prevention on the railways 

What does our work involve?

Two of our training courses are designed specifically for rail personnel and British Transport Police officers.  The Managing Suicidal Contacts course trains people in how to recognise and talk to a potentially suicidal person and lead them to a place of safety.  Our Trauma Support course teaches people how to support those who may be suffering from trauma and helping them move towards recovery.

What difference does it make to people’s lives?

Last year, 848 vulnerable people were approached on the rail network and taken to a place of safety. This compares to 573 in the previous year - an increase of 48% - thanks to increased awareness brought about by our work with Network Rail.

A distressed customer came into the station. I took him aside and let him know he was supported. His wife had packed him a bag and chucked him out.  He had no money and nowhere to go.  After a chat I persauded him to call Samaritans.  I was able to show him he wasn't on his own and there is help.  It made my day knowing I had made a difference.

Award winning suicide prevention 

Following our training course, Sharron Willet, from East Coast Trains, won an award for approaching a person on the railway and saving their life. She was also recently honoured with an MBE at Buckingham Palace for her continuing work in suicide prevention.

The training team were delighted to win the Training Team of the Year 2014 at the annual Rail Staff Awards. We are so passionate about what we do and were delighted to receive recognition for our work.