The rail industry’s Central Suicide Prevention Team have launched a new initiative on behalf of the industry promoting the Small Talk Saves Lives campaign. As of September 2019, an estimated 2,000 vehicles in Network Rail’s fleet will be branded with the Small Talk Saves Lives logo.
Launched in 2017, the campaign seeks to increase the number of successful suicide interventions on the rail network by targeting potential bystanders amongst the general public and encouraging them to act. It was developed in consultation with people who have been personally affected by suicide, including those who have had a loved one take their life. Every 36 hours, a suicide occurs on the railway, but for each life lost, six are saved. 271 people took their lives on the railway in 2018/19, however in the same year 2270 lifesaving interventions were made meaning that for every life lost many more were saved.
There are now over 20,000 rail staff and stakeholders trained in suicide prevention techniques and the aim of the campaign is to mobilise bystanders to intervene if they see an individual in crisis. By featuring the Small Talk Saves Lives logo on vehicles within Network Rail’s fleet, we hope to spread the campaign message further than the railway, to pique the curiosity of those who see it to delve deeper into what the campaign is about.
The Central Suicide Prevention Team will seek to share this initiative with colleagues in Train Operating Companies and the wider transport sector later in the year, in the hope that we can support other agencies in their bid to prevent suicides on our roads and rivers.
For more information about the campaign, visit: https://railsuicideprevention.co.uk/small-talk-saves-lives-campaign/