A railway worker who got a vulnerable person to safety using WhatsApp messages has been recognised for her quick thinking.
Megan Moore, who works for ScotRail, took home the Samaritans Lifesaver award at this year’s RailStaff Awards.
The award recognises individuals who have intervened to potentially save the life of a vulnerable person on the rail network, as well as demonstrating the power talking and listening to someone in need can have.
Megan, from North Lanarkshire, was on shift monitoring customer queries on social media in January 2023 when she got an alarming message from someone who she thought was intent on taking their own life.
The 28-year-old said: “They said they wanted to apologise to the driver of one of our services from Glasgow Queen Street. They said it was nothing personal and they hoped it wouldn’t affect the driver for too long.
“I knew something wasn’t right. There were no identifying details from the message – apart from their name - so I responded by offering to help and speak to them.”
Megan – who works as an External Relations Assistant –kept the person talking and eventually found out what station they were at.
Using her teamwork skills, she got in touch with the control room, CCTV operators, and station staff who found the person nearby. British Transport Police attended and helped them to safety.
Having completed the Samaritans’ Managing Suicidal Contacts course, I knew I had to keep them talking and try and get as much information out of them as possible. Especially as I couldn’t see what was going on and very little detail to work with.
"You don’t really know what you’re up against if you can’t see the person. That being said, it is important to know what actions to take such as calling the control room or the CCTV operators.
“However, part of it is going with your gut feeling and determining who will be able to get to that person and get them to a place of safety the fastest.
“I’m just glad that it was a positive outcome and I managed to help that person in a time of need. That’s the most important thing.”
Olivia Cayley, Head of Rail Programme at Samaritans, said: “Congratulations to Megan whose quick-thinking meant this person was able to get to safety and get more support for what they were dealing with.
“Megan’s actions are a great example of how Samaritans training is a vital asset for the rail industry, and we hope her story will inspire others to continue to look out for one another, as well as encourage more of our rail industry colleagues to enrol in our training.”
Neil Mathers, Executive Director of Samaritans Scotland, said: “Samaritans works closely with our partners in the rail industry and offers specialised suicide prevention training to staff.
“We know the impact a well-timed intervention can have when someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts, and that it’s crucial to have trained staff throughout the rail network.
“We are delighted to sponsor this year’s RailStaff Awards Lifesaver category, and thank this year’s winner, Megan, for her quick-thinking and actions in getting a person to safety.”
Nick McGuirk, Safeguarding Manager at ScotRail, said: “Megan remained calm throughout, even though she was confronted with the additional challenge of not being able to see what was unfolding.”
More than 28,000 rail staff have been on Samaritans’ Managing Suicidal Contacts course since it began in 2010, which trains staff how to identify, approach, and support a potentially suicidal person. It also teaches how to start a conversation and the essential listening skills needed to safely resolve the situation.
The RailStaff Awards at the NEC Birmingham celebrated the achievements and the heroes of the industry. It was presented by tv personality, Gethin Jones.
The Samaritans rail team – which offers training to the rail industry and vital support following an incident – won a Highly Commended award in the rail the safety person or team category.
For more information or interviews, please contact Katie May Tracy, Communications Officer at Samaritans on [email protected].
Notes to editors
- Samaritans encourages the responsible reporting of suicide. Read more about this on our media guidelines page.
- The RailStaff Awards 2023 was the tenth time an award has been handed out to someone who has used their Samaritans rail suicide prevention training to support someone to safety.
- Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org
- Every 10 seconds, Samaritans volunteers respond to a call for help.
- Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and around 23,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us or volunteer with us.
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