We can all move suicide prevention in the right direction, Samaritans tells MPs

A cross-party group of MPs, charities and transport sector representatives gathered at Westminster on Monday (20 March) to learn about Samaritans' lifesaving work with the rail industry.

Around 1 in 6 staff on the rail network in Britain has taken part in suicide prevention training or awareness raising to spot members of the public who may be at risk, lead them to safety and put them in touch with support services.

Since the partnership began in 2010 staff have made thousands of interventions and suicides in the rail environment have been falling.

Samaritans’ CEO, Ruth Sutherland, said: "We want to build on our successful work with the rail industry and share what we have learnt. This is an opportunity to collaborate with a range of players and politicians from all parties to reach more people before they are in crisis so that we can prevent needless deaths."

Paul Plummer, the Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together the companies that run trains with Network Rail and the planned high speed project HS2, also spoke at the event.

Samaritans is calling for politicians, key figures in the transport industry and others with influence to work together on effective suicide prevention measures across the sector.

Performance poet and YouTuber, 25 year-old Hussain Manawer, whose mental health campaigning work has earnt him a trip into space next year, performed a poem he wrote and spoke to MPs.  “Poor mental health and suicidal feelings are such taboo subjects for so many households, but that stigma holds us all back. This is a universal issue and normalising talking about it is the way forward.”

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