Best practice approach to cut train-track suicides

25 July 2013

Today at the 2013 National Suicide Prevention Conference a panel of experts from around Australia will address the important issues around workplace and suicide prevention highlighting train track suicides, occupational related suicide and the number of suicides in working age men.

Suicide occurs most frequently in working age adults. It is the leading cause of death in men under the age of 44 years and in women under the age of 34 years. With 80% of all suicides in Australia being men of working age, suicide in the workplace is a priority issue that needs to be addressed.

Rail suicide is a major issue and unique, in that it is one of the only methods where the person who ends their life also directly engages another (the train driver) to do so. Around 100-150 people die by rail suicide every year in Australia. An additional 1,000 people attempt to take their lives by rail suicide, many ending up with horrific injuries.

“Most train drivers will experience a fatality during the course of their career and too many will never be able to return to work,” said Tim Fischer, CEO TrackSAFE

One of the primary reasons TrackSAFE was established was to reduce suicide and mitigate the trauma caused to rail employees who witness or experience an incident whilst simply doing their job.

New research from University of Melbourne reveals that lower skilled workers such as builders and farmers have a higher risk of suicide.  Workplace suicide prevention programs such as Mates in Construction and Farm link are encouraging young men to seek-help. The benefits and challenges of workplace suicide prevention programs are being discussed at the conference today.

Sue Murray, CEO Suicide Prevention Australia said, “Suicide is preventable in most cases as long as we can openly speak about suicide and develop a community that knows how to give help and get help.”

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Media Alert:
When:  Thursday 25 July 2013
Where: The National Suicide Prevention Conference, Sofitel Hotel on Collins

Interviews:

·  The Hon Tim Fischer, AC, Patron, TrackSAFE: goal to reduce suicide on train tracks

·  Dr Peter Cotton, psychiatrist, Director of Medibank Health Solutions – latest research report about suicide prevention in the workplace

·  Sue Murray CEO Suicide Prevention Australia – suicide prevention in working age men needs to be a priority focus for the new national coalition for suicide prevention

 VNR

·  TrackSAFE video – interview with train drivers sharing their personal stories about an incidence of suicide on the train tracks.  This footage is appropriate high quality for TV news.  Here is the link for download: TSF926001_Tracksafe Foundation_Suicide - Sensitive_1024x576_Deint_5Mbps.wmv