Make small talk, and save lives – audio interview with Frank Ritchie
Written by author on December 3, 2017
Samaritans is launching a national campaign with British Transport Police, Network Rail and the wider rail industry to give travellers the confidence to trust their instincts and act if they notice someone who may be at risk of suicide in or around a station.
By highlighting that suicidal thoughts can be temporary and interrupted with something as simple as a question, the campaign aims to give the public the tools to spot a potentially vulnerable person, start a conversation with them, and let them know support is available, including contacting Samaritans.
Small Talk Saves Lives has been developed after research showed passengers have a key role to play in suicide prevention. * Further research showed the majority are willing to act, but many wanted reassurance they wouldn’t “make things worse”.
The campaign draws on insights from successful interventions made by rail staff who’ve been trained by Samaritans in suicide prevention. For each life lost, six are saved and the hope is to get more people involved.
Local volunteer, Frank Ritchie, is leading the campaign across our region. He lost his own son to suicide in Lockerbie, so for him, it’s a way of bringing a positive legacy from his own loss.
Mark Smith chatted to Frank on Platform 1 at Dumfries Railway Station: