TransPennine Express (TPE) has joined forces with Andy’s Man Club to raise awareness ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day and remind people #itsokaytotalk.
According to ONS (Office of National Statistics), 115 people take their own lives every week in the UK and a suicide occurs on the railway every 37 hours.
However, in the past year, TPE has taken steps to not only reduce the number of fatalities on the railway but also equip its colleagues with the skills to recognise and support vulnerable people on the railway.
In addition to this essential safeguarding work, TPE is also working closely with charities, such as Andy’s Man Club, who offer peer-to-peer support groups across the UK.
Ian Watson, Michael Chapplow, Mark Dunkin and Liam Murnane, all members of Andy’s Man Club boarded a TPE train this week ahead of Suicide Prevention Day to discuss their personal stories on camera detailing how talking helped save their lives.
Ian Watson, TPE driver and member of Andy’s Man Club, said:
“I can’t emphasise the importance and power of talking. For someone in need, that step seems like a mountain to overcome, but once you’ve taken it, you’ll never look back.
“Stigma dictates that men should never express or share emotions with others and that archaic way of thinking is one of the reasons why male suicide rates are high.”
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director at TPE said:
“It was wonderful to see Ian, Michael, Mark and Liam share their stories ahead of Suicide Prevention Day. To hear how their lives have been transformed by simply starting a conversation with a group of people is truly remarkable.
“It’s important to talk and essential that, in addition to the safeguarding work we do at TPE, there are charities like Andy’s Man Club to support those who are vulnerable or need a safe place to talk.”
TPE has seen more than 700 colleagues complete ‘Safeguarding on Transport’ training, the introduction of 500 body worn cameras for front line colleagues and the promotion of 34 Safeguarding Champions across the TPE network.
The Safeguarding Champions offer guidance to any colleagues who may need support and advice when dealing with a vulnerable person or a difficult situation.
In partnership with Railway Children, TPE has developed an e-learn for all colleagues to learn how to identify and respond to a vulnerable person on the network.
These significant steps resulted in TPE being awarded the Safeguarding on Rail Accreditation from British Transport Police (BTP) and the Department for Transport and due to the incredible efforts of colleagues in the past year, more than 235 interventions have been made by TPE, potentially saving hundreds of lives.
Kathryn O’Brien continued:
“We’ve made some fantastic tracks this past year in making the railway a safer place for everyone and I couldn’t be prouder of our colleagues who are always on the look out to help those in need.”
Ian Watson continued:
“Through both TPE and Andy’s Man Club I can now not only manage my feelings but also help others who are in a position I was in not so long ago.
“I am constantly reminding people I meet that there is always someone to talk to and from my own experience I can assure people that it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.”
As well as supporting Andy’s Man Club, TPE is working with several other charitable causes, including the Campaign to End Loneliness and Samaritans.
To watch the video of Ian Watson, Michael Chapplow, Mark Dunkin and Liam Murnane, sharing their stories ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSS_S2CsIAc
To get in touch with Andy’s Man Club and find your nearest club visit: https://andysmanclub.co.uk/find-your-nearest-group/
To call Samaritans for free, call 116 123, their helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/talk-us-phone/