New suicide prevention campaign backed by Colchester rail worker who saved man at Hythe station
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
A railway worker from Colchester whose quick-thinking actions stopped a man from taking his own life on the tracks at Hythe station is fronting a new awareness campaign.
Scott Paton is backing Small Talk Saves Lives, an initiative launched by Samaritans, Network Rail, British Transport Police and Greater Anglia to encourage people to look out for fellow passengers.
The railway manager scooped an award for intervening and helping a distressed man at the Hythe level crossing.
He said: “Last year, I visited Hythe station with a Network Rail colleague when we saw a man on the tracks.
“I approached him and talked to him until he agreed to move to a safe place.
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“Small talk can save lives and I would encourage anyone using the rail network to help keep their fellow passengers safe.
He added: “If they do not have the confidence to approach them, they are encouraged to speak to a member of staff.
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“Just stopping to talk to someone for a few minutes can make a huge difference and can help to save a life.”
Commuters are being asked to take part in the suicide prevention campaign, which bosses believe could save many lives a year.
It involves them spotting vulnerable people – and talking to them to interrupt their suicidal thoughts.
The initiative aims to give travellers the confidence to take action if they notice someone who may be at risk of suicide on or around the rail network.
Network Rail’s managing director for the region, Meliha Duymaz, said: “Nearly five million journeys are made by train every day and we are asking for passengers to work alongside our staff as the eyes and ears of the railway, helping us to keep everybody safe.
“If it were your loved one, a daughter or son, husband or wife who was going through an emotional crisis, wouldn’t you hope that somebody took the time to stop and ask if they were okay?
“Even if in doubt, you can always report concerns to a member of staff or a police officer, but please act if your instinct is telling you that something is wrong.”
Small Talk Saves Lives also urges people to trust their instincts – and look out for passengers who might need help.
To find out more, visit the Samaritans website.