250 people per year on average commit suicide at train stations in England. It would be more but the rail companies started training their employees on how to look for people in trouble and how to approach them. Rizwan Javed was 24 in 2015 when he went through the training course and he saved his first life 2 weeks later!
The now 30-year-old has now talked 29 people out of suicide and was recently honored for his efforts, winning the Samaritans Lifesaver award, which recognizes those who’ve used their talking and listening skills to save lives. Javed says it is “overwhelming” to win the award, but it was a personal thank you he received from the first woman he saved that makes him want to help .
Javed recalls the night she came in looking distressed and says there were warning signs that rang alarm bells and he knew he needed to react quickly. “As I was going back to my office, I noticed the same person looking distressed. These were signs that rang alarm bells for me and I had to react quickly. Initially I phoned the signalmen who control our line and I got a line block in place. [I then] ran over to the individual [and] made conversation - it wasn’t easy initially, it was hard to engage.
He talked with her for an hour after calling police to assist and provide support, and contacted her family to come down as well. Together, they made sure she was safe and got her the help she needed. He made such an impact on her life that she came back to thank him in person later and he says, “that meant the world to me.”