#StopStationSuicide by making a change to platform safety to reduce suicides
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- The Northern Quota has officially launched its #StopStationSuicide campaign.
- NQ Reporter Eleanor Storey aims to make a change to train stations in light of the recent spike in suicide rates on our tracks. There is a need for more suicide prevention strategies and marketing across platforms in order to persuade and stop those thinking about using this horrific method.
- This campaign focuses on the impact such travesties have on the train network, the consumer and the victim’s close ones.
The UK has the highest suicide rates in Europe, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicting that the rate of suicide deaths at train stations across Europe will increase to one in every 20 seconds by 2020. This shows, there is a definite need for more suicide prevention strategies across platforms nationally, with suicide affecting the victim, the consumer and the network itself on a daily basis. Prevention in the UK is clearly not strong enough compared to other nations, with only 28 countries worldwide initiating prevention plans on their platforms, the UK not being one of them.
Although stations across the UK are protected and well-equipped in order to prevent such travesties, station suicide is a growing problem nationally, with some stations being open to the platform without security. One station with a lack of prevention is Bletchley in Buckinghamshire; within the last month, four people have taken their own lives at Bletchley train station. Since July, a shocking seven people have died at the station.
Train stations in the UK are quickly becoming popular suicide destinations, but how can this be prevented? Following years of research, “reducing accessibility to train lines through installation of physical barriers is the only suicide prevention strategy that has been followed by a decrease in railway suicide.” This is according to the Hong Kong National Rail, which in 2012, fitted platform screen doors to prevent customers having access to the track. This was successful, with suicide rates dropping by almost 60%. Mexico City are another initiating such prevention strategies, with platform screens stopping the rate of the public from accidentally falling or committing suicide on the track.
So, what is in place in the UK?
Network Rail and Samaritans have been working together to tackle suicide. The work started in 2010 and now involves a larger network involving train operators, freight operators and British Transport Police. This work has been successful in improving the knowledge of the industry, but has not yet contributed to any suicide reduction or prevention.
There is a good network set up for individuals who are having suicidal thoughts to speak out about their problems, such as the NSPA and NSH. But more needs to be done physically at the stations themselves. There needs to be more fencing, barriers at the end of platforms and changes to the layout of stations.
So please help support our campaign and sign the petition to give our stations valuable prevention help in order to stop people taking their own lives.
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