THE Samaritans has joined forces with rail company bosses in a bid to reduce suicides on the tracks.
Volunteers from the charity for people in crisis now carry out regular patrols of Northallerton train station – an area which has seen a number of suicides in recent years.
The initiative was set up in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police.
Now the charity’s bid to reach more people at train stations is benefiting from the support of Northern Rail, which is adorning carriages on 14 of its trains with the Samaritans' 'Talk to Us' logos and information.
This week the charity’s volunteers will also be teaming up with Northern Rail employees and managers, who will be out and about at stations in the region during morning rush hour between 7am and 10am on Thursday (July 24).
They will be raising awareness with commuters at Harrogate, Knaresborough, Northallerton and York stations about the importance of talking and telling them of the Samaritans’ 24-hour help service.
Northern Rail’s customer service director Natalie Loughborough said: “A fatality on the railway has a massive impact on our customers, employees, services and the wider community.
“Some of the training we receive from Samaritans involves learning how to approach vulnerable people, so Talk to Us is a fitting campaign for us to be part of.”
Bob Howe, regional marketing officer for Samaritans in Yorkshire & Humberside region said: “Raising awareness of our service during the morning rush hour, to so many rail commuters is really important.
“We want people to recognise the value of talking, rather than bottling things up. People can get in touch with Samaritans’ service by phone, email and text, as well as visiting a branch to speak to a volunteer face to face. We are here round the clock, every single day of the year.”
Director of Northallerton and the Dales Samaritans, Dr Ian Watt added: “We hope these decorated carriages will help spread that message even further, and encourage anyone who needs to talk to contact us.”
The Northallerton and Dales branch of the Samaritans also plans to open a special meeting room at Northallerton station where people experiencing personal crisis can speak with a Samaritans volunteers.
Samaritans answers more than five million calls a year. To make a donation to Samaritans, text ‘SUPPORT’ to 70080 to make a £4 donation.
The Samaritans 24 hour support line is 08457 90 90 90.