Manea, UK: Watching for the signs of depression

20 Mar

imagegen.ashxThe family of a man who intentionally killed himself on the railway at a level crossing in Manea, near Ely has highlighted the importance of looking out for signs of depression. This is very much to the fore in Australia where the TrackSAFE Foundation has joined the national R U OK initiative.There is to be a national Rail R U OK? to raise rail staff awareness that they can help to prevent suicide by engaging in a conversation to ask people R U OK?  if they see behaviour indicating that a person may require emotional support. The April 16th Rail R U OK initiative cannot eliminate depression or anxiety in one day, TrackSAFE believes that the Rail R U OK? project takes the rail industry a step forward in addressing stigma surrounding emotional and mental trauma that might manifest as a result of exposure to incidents on the rail as part of a wider national R U OK? initiative.

While the Rail RU OK Day has a focus on behaviours at railway stations, it is equally relevant on the line of route where maintenance of way and operational staff might come across a person where an R U OK? intervention can prevent intentional  fatalities by triggering the medical and social interventions that can lead to a reduced risk of a peson attempting further to take their own life. This approach is already UK practice with a national rail industry project to reduce the incidence of fatalities on the railway.

The family of the 23-year-old who took his own life on October 25th, 2014 heard evidence from a witness that he had run round lowered level crossing barriers at the Wisbech Road level crossing and that he then stood in the path of the train that ended his life. The witness further said that he had noticed a person stood at the side of a car parked close to the level crossing from which point the man ran to stand in the path of the train. The Coroner concluded that although the man had not left a suicide note he was forced to conclude he had acted deliberately to take his own life.

It is better to ask R U OK? than not. Let’s get a national R U OK? initiative embedded in the UK to build on the work of the rail sector.

One Response to “Manea, UK: Watching for the signs of depression”

  1. Andrew Fraser March 20, 2015 at 14:03 #

    Couldn’t agree more with that.

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