Exclusive: Interventions save lives at West Midlands train stations


CC: Wikimedia Commons

Staff and commuters on West Midlands’ railways have potentially saved a life almost 50 times in the past year.

West Midlands Trains have revealed to Birmingham Eastside that from 1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018, there were 47 recorded interventions by staff or bystanders that might have prevented someone from attempting suicide, across the whole West Midlands metropolitan area.

Just two suspected suicides were reported across the region’s rail network for that year.

The figures were requested in recognition of Mental Health Awareness week, which is from the 14th – 20th May.

This comes after the charity Samaritans launched their ‘#Small Talk Saves Lives’ campaign last November, aiming to “empower the public to act to prevent suicide on the railways”.

Samaritans has teamed up with Network Rail and the British Transport Police to urge people to step up and start a conversation with someone they think might be vulnerable.

The campaign wants to give people the confidence to be able to identify vulnerable people and ‘act on their instincts’ rather than worrying that they might make the situation worse by intervening.

‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ also share real life stories from people who have talked someone down from potentially attempting suicide with questions like “It’s a warm evening, isn’t it?” and “What train are you taking?”

More information on the campaign can be found on Samaritans website

If you are feeling in need of support, you can call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123, the phone line is open 24/7, 365 days a week.


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