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Rail staff volunteer one million hours to support Samaritans

In the lead up to Christmas, the season of giving, the rail industry has big updates from the Million Hour challenge volunteers who have pledged one million hours to help the Samaritans.

Earlier this year, Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, ORR Director of Safety announced that over the next five years employees will volunteer with the charity in a call to prevent rail-related suicides.

IOSH is pleased to report that new figures released by Network Rail show a 20% increase in the number of times the public has acted to prevent suicide in the rail environment. 

Network Rail, The British Transport Police and the Transport for London are just a few of those supporting the Million Hour Challenge: uniting the rail industry.

Mental health is of particular concern in the rail industry, where the rate of suicide in the workforce is 1.6 times higher than the UK average, and 60% of workers have experienced mental health issues.

Aimee Skelly-Burgess, committee member of the IOSH Railway Group said:

“Suicide prevention is high on the agenda for the rail industry. This time of year can be particularly tough for many, which is why it is so important we continue to raise the profile of mental health and encourage everyone to feel confident to have the conversation. Just reaching out and asking how someone is doing can make all the difference.”

In the UK alone, every 6 seconds a call is made by someone struggling with mental health. These generous volunteers will work closely with the Samaritans to provide more support for people experiencing emotional distress and aim to improve the mental health and wellbeing of rail industry employees through answering calls and fundraising activities.

Ian Prosser HM Chief Inspector of Railways, ORR Director of Safety, and sponsor of the Million Hour Challenge had sai

“This will not only help Samaritans as it seeks to cope with increased demand for its vital services, it will also be beneficial for the mental health of all of us in the sector who volunteer our time, not least by encouraging us to talk with each other, and the wider community, about the issues involved.”

To find out how you can get involved visit: https://millionhourchallenge.com/join/

Emma Guy
Communications Officer 0116 257 3366
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