Press release: NI sporting heroes back Translink NI Railways and Samaritans ‘We’re In Your Corner’ campaign

Translink NI Railways and Samaritans have joined forces to launch ‘We’re In Your Corner’; a hard-hitting campaign to promote the charity’s emotional support services and help prevent suicides on the local rail network*.
The new partnership also provides support for Translink employees who find themselves in challenging and highly sensitive circumstances when dealing with someone in distress.
The campaign has secured support from a wide range of local sporting personalities to help reinforce the message that support is available to anyone in need.
In particular, the campaign targets men, who are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, urging them to talk about their problems and consider calling Samaritans’ helpline**.
In addition, a special training programme is now being rolled out across Translink NI Railways. It is modelled on a successful five-year partnership between Samaritans and Network Rail in Great Britain***.
The Translink programme features a range of suicide prevention and post – incident activities including:
 training for rail employees to equip them with the skills and confidence to deal with someone in distress before making a sensitive referral to Samaritans;
 setting-up a regional ‘call out’ service to support people in distress at railway sites; and
 support provision for rail employees and members of the public who have witnessed a fatality.
Speaking at the campaign launch in Belfast Central Station, Translink Group Chief Executive Catherine Mason said:
“Suicide prevention and post incident care are extremely sensitive issues that we want to address in the most effective and responsible ways possible.
“Samaritans provide confidential emotional support services 24/7, working to alleviate emotional distress and promote emotional wellbeing. We recognise the immense value of this new partnership in providing support for both our employees and the general public.
“Our approach includes an eye-catching poster campaign to show that Samaritans can help people find ‘strength’ to get through tough periods in their lives and we are delighted to have the support of many high-profile sporting personalities to help deliver this very important message****.
“For over 50 years, Samaritans have shown that by opening up and speaking to someone, it can help prevent worries and concerns in life from spiralling out of control. We would encourage anyone in emotional distress to contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123 and take positive steps towards emotional wellbeing.”
Suzanne Costello, Director of Ireland Samaritans, said: “We know that men remain a high-risk group and we believe that they don’t feel able to talk about their problems. These can spiral out of control, sometimes with tragic consequences. Talking to someone is better than bottling things up and we hope that the poster campaign will prompt more people to seek support.
“We’re pleased to expand our partnership into Northern Ireland by working with Translink, helping Samaritans to achieve our vision that fewer people die by suicide.”
To date, almost 100 Translink rail employees have attended Samaritans training and Translink has now launched a station poster campaign across the rail network to highlight Samaritans support available for anyone in distress.