Most of pass through train stations each day without giving a second thought to the people around us.

But the Redbridge Samaritans want people to be on the lookout for people in distress on the platform to help prevent suicides.

Talking to someone who is crying or upset could be the difference between life and death, they say.


Steve Starr, the deputy director for outreach at the Samaritians, as well as other volunteers, will be raising awareness on Saturday.

They will promote the work the Samaritans do at Ilford Station as part of Mental Health Week.

“We want passengers and people to be aware of people going through difficult times,” he said.

“If you see someone crying on the train or on the platform in real distress, talk to them.

“Everything is becoming too much for some people. Young people don’t talk to anyone, particularly the boys.

“If someone goes over to someone and simply says: hi, I can see you’re upset – would you like to talk?

“Just reaching out to someone can make the world of difference.

“It’s a lonely world out there when you’re in trouble and you can’t communicate with anyone.

“Someone noticing you’re not well and going through a bad time, to speak to you, can be the difference between life and death.

“It’s actually very simple.”

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between May 14 and 20 and this year, the focus is on stress.

Redbridge Samaritans have partnered with Network Rail to spend the day at Ilford Station on Saturday, May 19 from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

They will hand out forms and speak to people about what they can do to help others, or be an ear to the people who need help.

Network Rail staff are trained in how to deal with people going through a crisis to help stamp rail suicides out.

They will offer the struggling person a cup of tea before calling the Samaritans, who lend another ear.

Volunteers would never tell someone how to deal with a particular situation or what to do – they merely offer a shoulder to cry on.

Mr Starr added: “Talking to people makes such a big difference.”

To contact Redbridge Samaritans on the free phone number, call 116 123.