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Small Talk Saves Lives

by Pegasus for Network Rail, British Transport Police & the Wider Rail Industry

Summary of work

In the UK, someone takes their own life on the railway every 36 hours, but, over the same period, six lives are saved. In 2017, Pegasus created a new suicide prevention campaign, for Samaritans working in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry - #SmallTalkSavesLives.

Phase two needed to build on the initial launch success to create a sense of momentum, whilst making it clear this was an ongoing issue that needed continual support from train passengers. To do this we needed to position an intervention as a simple, everyday ask – not an act of heroism.

The resulting campaign was built around the fact that all of us are training to save lives every day – even if we don’t realise it. A chat with the cab driver, or an innocuous chat with a work colleague, this is all the training you need to save a life.

Post-campaign research found that 74% who saw the campaign said they were likely to approach someone in distress. Furthermore, a third of people said they’ve already approached and tried to help somebody who appeared in distress as a result of Small Talk Saves Lives.

Judges’ comments

Small Talk Saves Lives is an excellent campaign, building on work submitted in 2018 with a shift from victim to intervener. It was clever and well-executed and really saves lives.