The UK’s largest rail franchise this week unveiled artwork at several stations on its network in support of people who may be feeling vulnerable.
Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Affirmation Art, with messages of support, was revealed yesterday – World Suicide Prevention Day, at stations including East Croydon.
Working closely with partners such as Samaritans, Network Rail and the British Transport Police, GTR continually works to support people across its network.
Highlighting its commitment in this area, the company has appointed its first Suicide Prevention Manager, Laura Campbell, making GTR the only Train Operating Company (TOC) to have someone in such a role.
In the past year there have been 426 GTR interventions and 35 fatalities, with a 57 per cent increase in lifesaving interventions since 2019 across GTR’s rail network.
The Affirmation Art was unveiled at key stations including Blackfriars, Brighton and East Croydon, with messages of support including:
- We’re with You
- Don’t suffer in silence
- It’s ok not to be ok
Ms Campbell said: “While growing up I experienced first-hand the trauma that suicide can leave behind, and it’s why I took on the role of Suicide Prevention Manager at GTR.
“It is important to raise awareness of the support that is available to those that may need it and educate the wider community about the complexities inherent in mental health as well as suicide.
“The Affirmations Art campaign looks to do just that, in a subtle and visual way.
“My grandmother sadly took her own life on the railway when my mum was just four years old.
“Back then, there wasn’t the support around that there is now and I don’t think she’s ever processed it properly.
“It’s one of the key reasons why I took on this role – my main focus is on supporting as many people as possible with all the work we’re doing to prevent suicide.
“I think it’s incredibly important that we’re raising awareness and showing signs of positivity on what will be quite a stark day for many.”
The Affirmation Art will be displayed at four of GTR’s stations in a variety of colours, including Blackfriars and St Albans on the Thameslink route and East Croydon and Brighton on the Southern part of the network.
The messages will be mirrored across the entire network’s customer information systems on board trains and at stations.
The physical stencils and imagery from the day will remain hung in stations and GTR sites UK-wide, serving as a continued show of the operator’s focus on suicide prevention 365-days-a-year.
Pictured top and inset, some of the artwork at East Croydon railway station
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