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New Samaritans sign at Petts Wood station to help most vulnerable
A Samaritans sign has been put up at Petts Wood station following the recent suspected suicide.
The board appeared on the footbridge yesterday as an anonymous point of contact for those in need.
The organisation says there are around 6,000 suspected suicides a year in the UK, with around 210 of those taking place on the railway.
Since 2010 the Samaritans has been working with Network Rail to reduce the number of suicides by 20 per cent.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are working closely with the Samaritans across the region, training our staff and operator Southeastern's staff in how to recognise signs of distress.
“They can also give them the skills to approach distressed people and lead them to safety.
“The Samaritans have also provided posters and signs at certain locations and we continue to look for other ways of tackling what is a very sad and difficult challenge for the railway.”
Following a number of incidents at Petts Wood over the last few years, News Shopper asked why more fences and barriers were not in place.
The spokesman added the team is looking into possible solutions.
Next year the Samaritans’ Orpington branch, in Station Road, will have been running for 50 years. It sees around 500 visitors and receives approximately 20,000 phone calls annually.
Ted Venebles, 70, from Bramerton Road in Beckenham, has been volunteering in the borough for 17 years and said help “is always there”.
He said although calls can be about any number of issues, one of his first involved a suicidal individual.
He told News Shopper: “I’ve dealt with lots of different things over the years. I’ve spoken to someone talking about ending their life at a train station.
“We’re here to talk to anyone with any issue.”
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 08457 909090, visit the website, or visit the borough’s local branch.
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