Suicide prevention and the rail industry
On average around 250 people come to the railway to end their life every year. This represents between four and five percent of the overall number of suicides in Great Britain. These fatalities have a devastating impact on the families and communities of those who take their lives and on the rail industry staff and passengers who find themselves involved in these incidents.
Last year there were 240 suspected rail suicides, causing over 600,000 minutes of delay to our passengers with a direct cost of circa £68m to the rail industry. In recent years, there has also been a sharp increase in the number of people presenting on the railway network who are in crisis or in distress. With increased uncertainty in the world, more people than ever now need support with their mental health.
About the campaign
Shout has partnered with Network Rail and the wider rail industry on a nationwide campaign, launching on Tuesday 10 October 2023. The purpose of the 'Make a Connection' campaign is to engage with people upstream and signpost them to mental health support services before they reach crisis point and consider ending their life on the railway.
It forms part of the rail industry’s efforts to help reduce suicides on the network by engaging with the public upstream and signposting them to mental health support services at the earliest opportunity.
Loneliness and connectivity
Research by Shout for the rail industry explored a subset of Shout data, which comprises more than two million text message conversations with 680k people across the UK, to understand loneliness and the importance of making connections for positive mental health and protection against suicide.
The analysis found that many Shout texters feel lonely or disconnected after relationship breakups, bereavement and relocation to new areas without friends, family or community networks.
Make a Connection encourages people in and around railway stations across Britain to text the keyword ‘Journey’ to 85258 to access the Shout service and receive free and confidential mental health support, 24/7.
Please get involved and support the campaign using the communications toolkit below.