A new campaign that will strike fear into the hearts of the antisocial has been launched today, under the banner of Small Talk Saves Lives. Which is ironic, as suicide often feels preferable to having to do small talk.
The idea behind this joint campaign by the Samaritans and Network Rail is to encourage commuters to look out for people who look like they might be struggling and perhaps imagining ending it all by chucking themselves in front of a train. A simple question from an onlooker might bust them out of the malaise and save the day. That's the idea, at least.
There's a rather harrowing advertorial for it:
There's some data behind the claim, too; a survey of 5,000 people found that 83 per cent of those asked said they would intervene and try to help someone or at least talk to them if it looked like they were about to bung themselves under a train. So Merry Christmas one and all. [Network Rail via Oxford Mail]