Samaritans to mark World Mental Health day at Greater Anglia stations

Volunteers from Samaritans will be on hand to speak to rail passengers at some Greater Anglia stations tomorrow, to mark World Mental Health Day.

Samaritans will be at five Greater Anglia railway stations tomorrow (Thursday 10 October), where they will be speaking about their Real People, Real Stories campaign. They will also be available to listen to anyone who is in need of someone to talk to.

Volunteers from local branches will be at the following stations tomorrow:

Ipswich 06.00-09.00
Stowmarket 16.00-18.00
Cambridge 07.00-09.00 and 16.30-18.30
Cambridge North 07.00-09.00 and 16.30-18.30
Ely 07.00-09.00 and 16.30-18.30

The Real People, Real Stories campaign aims to encourage men to seek help by sharing the stories from men who have overcome difficult times with support from others.

A survey by Samaritans found that two in five (41%) men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need to, because they prefer to solve their problems themselves. This group includes men who are most at risk of suicide.

The campaign includes the stories of several men who have overcome tough times, to encourage others to seek help by calling Samaritans 24/7 free on 116 123 or visiting Samaritans.org.

Matt Wakefield, Greater Anglia’s head of safety, security and sustainability, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Samaritans volunteers to our network on World Mental Health Day.

“We are doing everything we can to keep people safe while using our rail network. More staff than ever before have completed Samaritans’ managing suicidal contacts course, which helps train rail staff to approach vulnerable or distressed people.”

“We work in partnership with Samaritans, British Transport Police and Network Rail to prevent suicides on the railway. For every life lost, six are saved and we’re very proud of our colleagues who have carried out suicide interventions.”

More than 300 Greater Anglia staff have completed Samaritans’ managing suicidal contacts course, which is a one-day course tailored specifically to people working within the rail industry. It focuses on the benefits of a short conversation with someone who may be experiencing suicidal feelings and the techniques required to sensitively support that person and help begin their recovery.

These emotional ‘first aid skills’ are also beneficial when responding to family and friends who may visit the location following a loved one’s death and when supporting a colleague affected by trauma. They are also valuable in our personal lives, listening to friends or family in need.

Rail Pastors have also been patrolling trains and stations in Essex and Cambridgeshire since the start of the 2018. They are an extension of the street pastors and are there to help anyone who is vulnerable or in need of help.

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit.

Find out more about Real People, Real Stories at: http://www.samaritans.org/realpeoplerealstories, You can also support by following the campaign @samaritanscharity on Instagram or sharing the video on Twitter @samaritans or Facebook at www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity, using the hashtag #RealPeopleRealStories.