Barlaston, United Kingdom: Community learns how to recognise pre-intentional death signs

17 Jun

The Network Rail – Samaritans partnership has taken a new direction with an initiative to train residents of an area where there has been a concentration of intentional deaths at a level crossing to recognise precursor symptoms. The crossing in question is the Wedgwood level crossing in Barlaston, near Stoke-on-Trent where the cluster of fatalities may in part be occurring at this location as word has spread widely that this is a quiet crossing where a degree of privacy is perceived to exist.

Now, the Samaritans, in conjunction with Network Rail, has run a course to explain to residents of the area how they can recognise the signs that someone may be minded to end their life; and, how to intervene sympathetically to avert the threat of an immediate intentional death. The course was similar to one that is used to give railway staff the confidence to act to address the immediate risk of an intentional death

Around 4% of the suicides occurring annually are on the railway, a percentage that is higher than it has been in recent years. It is of note that after a decade of a modestly declining suicide rate in the United Kingdom, a significant increase in the rate occurred between 2010-2011.

Samaritans can be contacted by calling 08457 90 90 90 or emailing The Samaritans can be contacted at any time as they operate a 24/7 service.

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