A couple of days ago (October 10th) Ormskirk hosted an event for World Mental Health Day. Railway staff from Merseyside and Lancashire encouraged people to speak up if they are struggling with their mental health.
As part of a new Samaritans campaign, ‘Real People, Real Stories’ staff from Network Rail, Merseyrail and the British Transport Police, worked with the Samaritans handing out flyers.
The campaign features men who have overcome tough times. It follows a survey which found that 41% of men 20-59 do not look for help when they need to.
In the rail industry over 19,000 have been trained by the Samaritans in suicide prevention techniques, and lives are being saved every day.
2018/19 saw 2270 life-saving interventions, up 33% on the previous year, for every life lost, 9 people were saved.
You can find out more about Real People Real Stories at: https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/real-people-real-stories/
You can also visit www.networkrail.co.uk/suicide-prevention-on-the-railway
What did the officials say?
Gerard Hughes, Samaritans branch director, said:
“This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention but preventing suicide and the support available, should be talked about every day. Suicide is preventable and is everyone’s business, so raising awareness of this important issue, will hopefully encourage people to help others in distress.”
“We know men can sometimes find it really hard to admit they are having trouble coping and reluctant to seek help, and we want to say that at Southport branch we do our best to make it easy to get in touch with Samaritans and talk to a volunteer. We are here to take calls 24/7 free on 116 123.”
Alex Hornby, performance and customer assistant at Network Rail, said:
“It’s all of our responsibilities to look out for the wellbeing of members of public, friends and family. Simply having a chat can make a world of difference. We’ve worked with our industry partners to improve the support and tools available across the Merseyrail network. That includes empowering our colleagues with the right training to open conversations and lend a listening ear to people who may be struggling to cope. It also includes providing the right support at our stations.”
Andy Heath, managing director for Merseyrail, said:
“We’ve worked with our industry partners to improve the support and tools available across the Merseyrail network. That includes empowering our colleagues with the right training to open conversations and lend a listening ear to people who may be struggling to cope. It also includes providing the right support at our stations. As a rail operator, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of anyone on our network is absolutely key.
“Events like today working with our partners to encourage passengers to talk more is a great example of the work we do to combat instances of those wishing to harm themselves. Talking really can save lives, and we are always keen to spread this message to staff and passengers to be on the look-out for those in need of support.”
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