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New partnership to stop suicides in rail environment

A new partnership between Lifeline Australia and the TrackSAFE Foundation aims to reduce suicides in the rail environment by 10 per cent over three years, through an innovative mix of service improvement, research and public awareness.

Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said the organisations are tackling the national suicide emergency - with numbers at 10-year-plus high levels - by supporting our country's most vulnerable, in locations where they're most at risk.

"With tens of thousands of Australian families, friends and workmates impacted by suicides on the rail network each year, this partnership is taking a practical and compassionate approach to saving lives," Mr Shmigel said.

"By harnessing the commitment and capabilities of Lifeline and the TrackSAFE Foundation, we will better understand community needs and how to best encourage help seeking behaviour - this means better use of data, technology and marketing campaigns to save lives."

TrackSAFE Foundation Chairman Bob Herbert, together with thePatron the Hon. Tim Fischer AC, and other senior rail representatives, attended a special event last night to mark the new partnership and its lifesaving potential.

"Sadly, there are 150 fatalities and serious injuries occurring each year as a result of rail suicide and rail suicide attempts. These incidents not only seriously effect members of the community, but also have a profound and lasting impact on train drivers and other frontline rail employees," Mr Herbert said.

"Lifeline Australia has committed to specifically addressing rail suicide as part of its suicide prevention mission and will work with TrackSAFE to progress this by trialling a range of interventions.

"We are committed to doing what we can - together with the rail industry - to address the serious issue of suicide in Australia, specifically on the rail network and the resultant trauma caused to train drivers and other rail employees."

Planned activities include:

* Marketing in rail areas (stations, rolling stock and signs) to promote help seeking and access to Lifeline crisis services.
* Rail station responses to people in distress or at risk of suicide through enhanced detection and coordinated services, involving rail, health, police and Lifeline. This includes feasibility trials on use of innovative technologies such as automated text notifications and crisis text or mobile app tools.
* Analysis of data to identify trends, links to related data sets, measurement and evaluation of results to inform further planning for rail suicide prevention.

For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services contact Lifeline on 13 11 14