"The Samaritans" at Wolverton Station

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eMeS

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Whilst photographing trains at Wolverton I noticed that The Samaritans have placed notices at the northern ends of the platforms, just before the slope to track level. They're held in place using self-locking nylon ties.

This got me wondering: Is this a Network Rail initiative, or simply tolerated by Network Rail, or perhaps unknown to Network Rail and/or LM. And then I noticed the "legalese" warning that the telephone number was a charged number. I would have thought that that was the last thing likely to be on someone's mind if they're contemplating topping themselves.

Do other stations have these notices?
 
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Masboroughlad

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Whilst photographing trains at Wolverton I noticed that The Samaritans have placed notices at the northern ends of the platforms, just before the slope to track level. They're held in place using self-locking nylon ties.

This got me wondering: Is this a Network Rail initiative, or simply tolerated by Network Rail, or perhaps unknown to Network Rail and/or LM. And then I noticed the "legalese" warning that the telephone number was a charged number. I would have thought that that was the last thing likely to be on someone's mind if they're contemplating topping themselves.

Do other stations have these notices?
They put them in a lot of notorious (and potential?) suicide spots.
 

W-on-Sea

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Culham (or if not there either one of its neighbouring stations) has them too

Sent from my GT-S5570 using Tapatalk 2
 

RPM

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When this has been done elsewhere it has been a joint inititative between Network Rail and the Samaritans. I would imagine this would be the case at Wolverton too. Worth doing I think - it might just make somebody think twice.
 

swt_passenger

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Definitely official.

The relevant poster frames at Southampton are marked in 'dymo tape' to show they are reserved for this purpose.
 

chuckles1066

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It is a really good idea. Potentially saved many lives I would guess.
I doubt it.

If you're in a world of despair and darkness, with no light at the end of the tunnel, then a sign telling you to ring a number won't help because the problems that exist in your life and have caused you to be suicidal will still be there when you end the call.

They don't magically disappear.

You have to have been in that desperate situation to recognise the truth in that statement.
 

Masboroughlad

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I doubt it.

If you're in a world of despair and darkness, with no light at the end of the tunnel, then a sign telling you to ring a number won't help because the problems that exist in your life and have caused you to be suicidal will still be there when you end the call.

They don't magically disappear.

You have to have been in that desperate situation to recognise the truth in that statement.
No, problems don't just go, but I assure you it has helped some people.
 
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I doubt it.

If you're in a world of despair and darkness, with no light at the end of the tunnel, then a sign telling you to ring a number won't help because the problems that exist in your life and have caused you to be suicidal will still be there when you end the call.

They don't magically disappear.

You have to have been in that desperate situation to recognise the truth in that statement.
There are NO problems in anyones life that should make them end their own.

A phone call to soembody who will listen to their issues may well make them think twice.
 

trentside

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I believe a similar initiative was running on the Underground at one point - I seem to remember that Mile End was quite a notorious spot that gained notices urging people in despair to contact the Samaritans. Not sure whether this is still the case?
 

bus man

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These posters are used in other areas as well they have been up for a number of years on a bridge in scarborough, and on the cliff tops in some areas
 
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I doubt it.

If you're in a world of despair and darkness, with no light at the end of the tunnel, then a sign telling you to ring a number won't help because the problems that exist in your life and have caused you to be suicidal will still be there when you end the call.

They don't magically disappear.

You have to have been in that desperate situation to recognise the truth in that statement.
Both points of view are very valid. I quite understand where you're coming from. Equally, I understand where others are coming from too.
 

district

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Until you have stood in the shoes of someone who is in this dire situation, no-one can really contemplate how it feels to be in the state that you are willing to end your life. To feel that your problems are so awful and unstopping that it is the only solution. But signs, or a phone line to the Samaritans does help in some cases. TOC staff trained by the Samaritans also helps: http://railnetchannel.tv/default.aspx?c=14. There's also signs to this effect on the Clifton Suspension Bridge - a well known suicide hotspot.
 

Clip

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Any small thing that may encourage someone to actually talk to someone who can help can only be a good thing. If thats the last thing they are likely to see and can treat it as a call for help or a last resort if they are in a way where they may be stopped then brilliant.

I would also assume that the operator at the end of the line would have some sort of connection to the police/NR to inform them that there may be someone who is potentially going to take their lives at said spot and they can also act.
 

142094

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Station staff are (and rightly) trained to spot the signs of someone who may be contemplating doing what the Samaritans try to prevent. However, it is unfortunate that some of those traits are what spotters also do as well.

Word of caution, not everyone who is going to harm themself at a station will be showing the signs and in many cases it will be completely unexpected and not preventable.
 

Masboroughlad

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I would also assume that the operator at the end of the line would have some sort of connection to the police/NR to inform them that there may be someone who is potentially going to take their lives at said spot and they can also act.
They are not supposed to say anything to anybody without consent of the caller.
 

RPM

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Under normal circumstances Samaritans will not call out emergency services to a person carrying out a suicidal act without the consent of that person. That holds as long as the location of the person is unknown. If the exact location is known then they are required by law to summon emergency services. This is usually clearly explained to callers.



 

Ibex

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Hornsey Lane Bridge in North London is a notorious suicide spot and has similar Samaritans adverts on it, it used to have an "SOS phone" which was a free hotline to the Samaritans.

As for the signs at Wolverton, every LM station between Watford Junction and Northampton should now have at least one Samaritans poster on the fast line platforms. Not sure if it was anything suggested by Network Rail but it was a local management initiative for the stations south of Tring after this incident at Berkhamsted and another at Hemel Hempstead this year.
 

Liam

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Erskine Bridge in Scotland is absolutely covered in ads for various councilling organisations.
And now has higher safety barriers after a nuber of high profile cases in recent years, notably two young girls from a local care home.
 

chuckles1066

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I believe a similar initiative was running on the Underground at one point - I seem to remember that Mile End was quite a notorious spot that gained notices urging people in despair to contact the Samaritans. Not sure whether this is still the case?
On the few weeks that I used the railways back in winter 2010/11, the service from London - Bristol was seriously affected on at least two, it may even have been three, occasions by "a fatality on the line at Reading".

And, curiously enough, even after I'd stopped using the rail network a girl joined us who had no other option but to get a train from Bristol - Bath and she was affected by an identical scenario.

What is it with Reading and rail suicides? Is Reading that bad?

Genuine question, as suicide is never a topic for jovial debate.
 
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Monty

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What is it with Reading and rail suicides? Is Reading that bad?
I've heard a few railwaymen refer to the line between Reading and Paddington as "suicide alley". The line does see it's fair share of fatalities, though it's not exclusively suicides, you get a few trespass that results in a fatality too. I think there was one at maidenhead not so long ago, trying to cross from one platform to another only to be hit by an on-coming HST.

And there lies the reason I think, it's a very fast stretch of line where the trains go through stations at very high speeds.
 

chuckles1066

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I've heard a few railwaymen refer to the line between Reading and Paddington as "suicide alley". The line does see it's fair share of fatalities
That makes sense now you come to mention it, and I thank you for doing so.

I imagine a lot of stockmarket types commute from Reading into the City (what is that journey time, half an hour?)......if you've just invested serious corporate funds in stock that has died a death and you're going to have to explain yourself or do a Leeson, I can well see why that stretch of line has been so tagged.

And the rapidly receding hairline and cutting "chinless wonder" tag, even though they're in their early twenties, can never help.
 
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