Train operating company, ScotRail, has today launched a new app for all employee phones and tablets to help prevent suicides on the railway.
The app has been developed by Network Rail in partnership with Samaritans and the rail industry, the app gives employees guidance on possible warning signs, and what is the best way to support someone in the need. It also provides a direct link to the British Transport Police for immediate support and advice.
The app is now available to all 4,500 ScotRail employees and is in addition to the Samaritans training that more than 300 members of staff have completed.
The app has been available on all Network Rail Scotland employee devices since 2017.
The ScotRail Alliance is also supporting the ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ campaign. This aims to give travellers the confidence to act if they know someone may be at risk.
People are being reminded that if they concerned about someone they see on the railway or elsewhere, they should trust their instincts (the following is from the ScotRail website):
- Suicidal thoughts can often be temporary.
- Strike up a conversation with a simple question such as asking about the weather, or where they’re travelling today.
- If you think someone may need help, introduce yourself, encourage them to talk and focus on listening.
- There’s no evidence that talking to someone who could be at risk can make things worse.
- It’s important to act. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching the person yourself, tell a member of staff, a police officer or dial 999.
What did the officials say?
David Lister, ScotRail Alliance sustainability & safety assurance director, said:
“The ScotRail Alliance takes its commitment to supporting those with mental health problems very seriously.
“Encountering someone in distress on the railway can be a daunting experience, even for the most experienced of our people. That’s why we’ve launched this app for ScotRail employees, to offer quick help and advice to those who come across someone who needs urgent support.
“Thanks to the work done by the rail industry and Samaritans, for every life lost on the railway, six are saved.”
James Jopling, Executive Director for Samaritans in Scotland, said:
“Suicide is not inevitable and any one of us could have an opportunity to save a life. By empowering their staff to act if they see someone at risk, the rail industry continues to make great efforts in reducing and preventing suicide across Scotland.”