Commuters in East Anglia are being encouraged to beat the January blues by stopping for a chat and a cup of tea on Monday, as part of a wider campaign by Samaritans.
Greater Anglia is supporting Samaritans’ Brew Monday initiative, which takes place on ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday of January, dubbed the most difficult day of the year.
Events will be held at stations across the Greater Anglia network, including Ely, Cambridge, Norwich, Lowestoft, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Southend Victoria on Monday 21 January.
Greater Anglia staff and Samaritans volunteers will be encouraging commuters to speak to friends and loved ones over a cup of tea, rather than letting them suffer in silence.
Matthew Wakefield, Head of Safety, Security and Sustainability at Greater Anglia, said: “Thousands of people use our railway stations every day and we hope by using them to promote this important message, we will encourage more people to get together to talk over a cup of tea, speak to friends or relatives and save more lives.
“Taking five minutes to have a cuppa and to talk over any problems you may have is so important. Samaritans volunteers are available round-the-clock, 365 days a year, so there is always someone available to listen.
“Unfortunately, the railway does see tragedy far too frequently and we know the impact it can have on all those involved.
“This is why we are working closely with Network Rail, British Transport Police and Samaritans. Rail Pastors and Land Sheriffs also patrol some parts of our network to help those in need.”
Last year, Greater Anglia staff carried out 46 suicide interventions across the network where they spoke to vulnerable people who were on or near the railway.
Samaritans aim to make this time of year more manageable for people by encouraging the public to get together for a chat and a cuppa with family, friends and colleagues to help anyone who may be struggling, and to raise vital funds for the charity.
Loneliness and isolation is one of the top three reasons why people get in touch with Samaritans.