15 November 2017
Samaritans launch #SmallTalkSavesLives campaign to give people the confidence to help prevent suicide.
Today sees the Samaritans launch the #SmallTalkSavesLives campaign in conjunction with Network Rail, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry in a bid to get commuters to talk to someone they think may be having suicidal thoughts.
The campaign gives practical advice on the signs to look out for and how to approach someone in need. The campaign builds on the Samaritans’ suicide prevention training of more than 16,000 rail staff.
Professor Rory O’Connor, backer of the campaign, said:
“I am pleased to support Samaritans new campaign #SmallTalkSavesLives. It aims to tackle one of the myths around suicide and its prevention: namely, that there is nothing we can do to prevent suicide. There is. And we all have a role to play. It is great to see the #SmallTalkSavesLives campaign encouraging people to reach out if they think someone may be suicidal. It could save lives.
We know that suicidal thoughts come and go – sometimes they are really intense and at other times they are less so. It is hoped that the #SmallTalkSavesLives may help those people who are in the midst of a crisis; anything which interrupts someone’s suicidal thoughts – even briefly - could save a life. Doing something as simple as asking someone how they are could interrupt their thoughts, give them a sense of connection and keep them safe at that moment of crisis”.
Professor O’Connor is one of the authors of our position statement ‘Understanding and preventing suicide: A psychological perspective’ which calls for more government investment into public mental health interventions and research into psychosocial interventions and leads the Suicide Research Lab at the University of Glasgow. He has also written a recent blog post for Third Force News on suicide prevention in Scotland.