Make it compulsory for train stations to put up helpline numbers
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(Content warning: suicide)
Due to a sharp rise in the number of people jumping in front of trains, I am proposing that train stations put up helpline numbers for mental health services, in a bid to help people who may be feeling suicidal at train stations.
As someone with severe mental health difficulties, there have been multiple times where I've felt suicidal and, in some cases, acted on it. Since 2014, there have been two times where I've tried to jump in front of trains: the first time someone spotted I wasn't well, and I got detained by the police. The second time, the train ended up getting diverted at last minute. In the build up to these incidents, I felt like I was constantly a burden to those around me. As a result, I had kept my plans to myself, and didn't tell anyone how bad I was feeling.
Sadly, my case isn't rare. Last year alone, 293 people died after being hit by trains: most of these were ruled to be suicides. This is a 20% increase from 2012, suggesting that the number is well on the rise. Furthermore, the overall number of people who have thought about, or tried to, jump in front of a train, will be much higher than that.
Despite the number of people who have died in this way, when it comes to train stations, it is rare to see anything about getting mental health support. I can count a handful of times where I've seen a Samaritan's poster at a station. This needs to change.
Whilst posters with helpline numbers may not help everyone, knowing that you're not alone when you're feeling suicidal can really help. In my case, seeing helpline numbers may have given me a chance to speak through how I was feeling, without (what I thought was) 'burderning' people I knew. Therefore, I'm proposing that information is displayed at every train station the U.K. with the numbers of helplines on them (including Samaritans, Mind, and at least one local service). Information could be in the form of posters, a billboard and/or leaflets. These measures would take minutes to sort, but have the potential to save many lives - surely that's worth it?
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