Mental Health Training

Rail industry worker saves 29 lives from suicide and is awarded an MBE!

Posted by on 14 Jan, 2024 in Mental Health |

Rail industry worker saves 29 lives from suicide and is awarded an MBE!

Today I read a wonderful post about a rail industry worker, Rizwan Javed, honoured in the NY honours list for his saving of 29 lives from suicide. It is fabulous to see Rizwan has been recognised for what he has done! This serves as a valuable reminder that suicide intervention training saves lives!

We hear so much about the lives lost to suicide, but if we are to generate more HOPE, and take up of life saving intervention training – people don’t take it up if they don’t have hope and a belief that lives can be saved – such as Suicide First Aid and SafeTALK we need to hear more stories like this. More stories like that of Rizwan and Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE.

These stories are evidence that lives can be saved from suicide, which is supported by other research and experts such as Professor Rory O’Connor from the University of Glasgow who confirms “most suicides are preventable”. At the moment there seems to be far less ‘life saving stories’ balanced against the ‘loss’ narratives. Whilst all are essential, and immensely meaningful to people sharing them, the lack of balance has an impact. The imbalance leads many to interpret “There is nothing we can do to prevent suicide”. Rizwan and Neil Laybourn are proof there is!

As a training provider, we deliver 95% mental health training and yet only 5% suicide intervention courses. People flock to mental health training, but we don’t experience the same demand for suicide intervention programs. Why is that? The belief in something delivering results matters, and the narratives, amongst other things like stigma, shape this.

We see sad and tragic statistics (that were far more than just a number) of those who lost their lives to pain that became suicide, but who is recording and collating the stats for those saved? How many lives have been SAVED in 2023 from suicide? How many already in 2024? Where could people register – I saved a life today? Who would collate it? Should it be done? Could it be done? If we are to engage and equip more people like Rizwan, we need to share more life saving stories like this.