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Helping our frontline staff to help others

Ahead of Samaritan’s Awareness Day on July 24,  a total of 38 colleagues so far have completed the Samaritans’ Managing Suicidal Contacts course.

The course is tailored to meet the needs of frontline rail staff and aims to boost their ability to deal with distressed or vulnerable people at railway locations.

Our Amulet security colleagues are already trained to help if they come across vulnerable people while they are at work, and we wanted to ensure as many members of our wider Churchill teams as possible are also empowered to offer support if needed.

Rail suicides have an enormous emotional impact on rail staff and witnesses, as well as on the friends and family of those dying in this way.

The three-hour course explored the subject of suicide through discussions and videos using inspiring accounts from rail staff and it equipped our attendees with the skills to talk to a potentially suicidal person.

London managing director Joe Saisi said: ‘This course is all about helping us to do the right thing and, hopefully, making a difference to someone in need.

‘It is great that it gives our people the skills and confidence to engage with anyone who is in distress and possibly save a life.’

Churchill’s project and implementation lead Jackie Knight, who organised the course and also attended it, said: ‘It is such a good course. The Samaritans’ Network Rail programme team keep it upbeat as much as possible and they give everyone the opportunity to share their experiences and discuss a really difficult subject.

‘It also gives hints and tips on what to do if you suspect someone is suicidal and provides contact numbers which can offer support.

‘I will be arranging another course shortly so we can get this out to as many key front-line workers as possible, and I am working on generating our own training that we can use in-house.’

The course also underlines our commitment to our company values and our ethical ESG values. It forms part of our comprehensive WellMe programme, which ensures that employee mental health and wellbeing is a priority.