Small Talk Saves Lives
Many of us who use the railways often will notice that far more often than we would like that trains are delayed or cancelled because someone has committed suicide on the line. A more grizzly way to die, I struggle to find. For the suicidal person, I guess the idea of certainty comes from throwing oneself in the path of an oncoming train.
I was pleased to read yesterday that the Samaritans have launched a campaign called #smalltalksaveslives in conjunction with Network Rail and the British Transport Police. This campaign is to encourage ordinary users of the railway to talk to people who they think might be entertaining suicidal thoughts. It has been shown many times that sometimes to prevent a suicide all that the person needed was to be engaged with as a human being. This campaign will help people who have reached this state of desperation to feel as though they are not alone in the world.
In the end, we all need to feel that we are cared about, and if one considers that suicide is possibly the most counter intuitive thing a person can do. It seems perfectly reasonable to simply say hello to a person who may be struggling. That hello might we save his or her life.