GTR spreads messages of support on Suicide Prevention Day
As today marks the annual World Suicide Prevention Day, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), have revealed ‘Affirmation Art’ clusters across some of its busiest stations to raise awareness of the company’s ongoing support and understanding to those who may be feeling vulnerable.
Working in partnership with Samaritans, Network Rail and the British Transport Police, GTR continually works to support people across its network.
To convey its commitment in this area, GTR have appointed its first Suicide Prevention Manager, Laura Campbell, making GTR the only Train Operating Company to have someone in this new role.
In the last year there have been 426 GTR interventions and 35 fatalities, with a 57% increase in lifesaving interventions since 2019 across GTR’s rail network.
Given the undeniable importance of this issue nationwide, GTR are encouraging others to progress a greater depth of understanding regarding the difficulties and issues associated with suicide as a year-round priority.
Alongside a comprehensive, and always-on Suicide Prevention programme, GTR has chosen to mark World Suicide Prevention Day with a consumer-facing campaign which took place this morning as a team of artists began spraying motivational messages in chalk across station entrances and exits.
GTR are also working to make sure its staff are equally supporting through training to deal with such situations and are fully equipped to intervene when needed.
Furthermore, TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) training, as well as occupational health and further support is provided to all employees so that they can look after passengers, themselves and each other.
As part of its long-term strategy, GTR aims to reduce the number of incidents by 50% leading up to 2021.
Suicide Prevention Manager, Laura Campbell said, “Whilst growing up I experienced first-hand the trauma that suicide can leave behind and it’s why I took on the role of Suicide Prevention Manager at GTR. It is important to raise awareness of the support that is available to those that may need it and educate the wider community about the complexities inherent in mental health as well as suicide. The Affirmations Art campaign looks to do just that, in a subtle and visual way.”
“My grandmother sadly took her own life on the railway when my mum was just four years old. Back then, there wasn’t the support around that there is now and I don’t think she’s ever processed it properly. It’s one of the key reasons why I took on this role – my main focus is on supporting as many people as possible with all the work we’re doing to prevent suicide. I think it’s incredibly important that we’re raising awareness and showing signs of positivity on what will be quite a stark day for many.”
Tom Moran, Managing Director for Great Northern and Thameslink at GTR said: “As part of this campaign, we wanted to send a reminder of hope and support to anyone that may need it. It really is ok to not be ok and we want to encourage people to talk and support each other. We understand the pressures passengers and people in the communities we serve may be facing and we hope this shows our support and togetherness.”