Tragically, the majority of deaths that occur on the Australian rail network are because of people taking their own life.
TrackSAFE has numerous activities that aim to reduce access to the rail corridor, encourage individuals in crisis to seek help and encourage others to intervene if there is someone in distress.
Restricting access to the rail corridor
TrackSAFE is active in its advocacy to the Commonwealth and State Governments for funding for barriers and fencing that will restrict access to the rail corridor.
Help-seeking campaign – Pause.Call.Be Heard
Encouraging individuals who may be thinking about suicide, experiencing dark thoughts, or struggling with the pressures of life to seek help is an important part of suicide prevention.
The Pause.Call.Be Heard campaign has been developed jointly with Lifeline Australia and it encourages people to stop, call Lifeline if in crisis or near crisis and you will be listened to non judgementally and guided to help.
Pause.Call.Be Heard ads are delivered digitally and displayed at various locations across the Australian rail network at various times with the support of rail operators, state governments and outdoor media organisations.
An evaluation of this campaign was conducted in 2021 and it found that it was associated with an increase to calls to Lifeline (in NSW and Victoria where the evaluation was conducted). More information is available here.
Intervention by a third party
One of the four ways to prevent suicides in public places is by increasing the likelihood of intervention by a third party, often called a by-stander or gatekeeper (the other ways being restricting access to means, encouraging help-seeking by the individual and responsible media reporting of incidents). The 2021 Victorian Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended the provision of gatekeeper training to develop suicide awareness and prevention skills and training in appropriate responses for members of workforces likely to come in contact with people experiencing suicidal behaviour.
TrackSAFE has developed training for rail workers that will increase their knowledge, skills and confidence to identify and to safely intervene with someone who may be in distress and considering taking their own life. More information on the TrackSAFE Suicide Awareness Training is available here. This industry wide training complements that delivered by rail operators.
TrackSAFE is considering the development of a bystander public awareness campaign to complement these rail staff interventions. To provide an evidence base for any future campaign, TrackSAFE has undertaken a review of the scientific literature about bystander campaigns as well as compiled examples of bystander campaigns from around the world together with information about the campaign design, implementation, and evaluation. This background information is available here.
TrackSAFE is committed to a strong evidence base to underpin its suicide prevention activities.
More information about recent and current research is available here.
Lifeline Suicide in Public Places Resources
The TrackSAFE Foundation was a participant in the Lifeline Australia Site Intervention Project to prevent loss of life by suicide at known sites of repeat suicide incidents. This project was possible through funding from the Australian Department of Health.
The project resulted in a suite of resources that can support and empower communities and organisations (including service providers and land managers) by providing knowledge and resources to assist in addressing issues related to a specific location of concern. More information is available here.
Suicide, suspected suicide and attempted suicide on the Australian rail network
The TrackSAFE Foundation has prepared information to increase knowledge about suicide and attempted suicide incidents on the Australian rail network and inform prevention activities. Access this data here.
If you or someone you know needs support with mental health or wellbeing, we encourage you to contact the appropriate support service provider as shown below. If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others, seek immediate assistance by calling Triple Zero (000).
LIFELINE | 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au
SUICIDE CALLBACK SERVICE | 1300 65 946 suicidecallbackservice.org.au
BEYOND BLUE | 1300 22 4636 beyondblue.org.au
MENSLINE | 1300 78 9978 mensline.org.au
PARENTS BEYOND BREAKUP 1300 853 437 parentsbeyondbreakup.com
Updated 10 September 2023