Suicide on the railways in Great Britain: a multi-disciplinary analysis

Research report


Marsh, I., Marzano, L and Mosse, D 2020. Suicide on the railways in Great Britain: a multi-disciplinary analysis. Canterbury Christ Church University.
AuthorsMarsh, I., Marzano, L and Mosse, D
TypeResearch report
Abstract

As part of wider efforts to reduce suicide on the railways, Network Rail commissioned a programme of research and consultation focusing on railway suicide messaging and communications. The aim of this work was to generate new multi-disciplinary insights and actionable intelligence for the rail industry.

The secondary analysis of existing interview and survey data , taken alongside the analysis of online environments , previous ethnographic and anthropological work , and consultations with academic, rail industry and lived experience experts, has enabled us to generate a fairly full and clear picture of how people who are contemplating (or who have contemplated and attempted) suicide on the railways engage with and express the idea of railway suicide, and the types of associations made about that method / location. In short, by bringing together the findings from different studies, and looking for overlaps, common themes, as well as differences, we have been able to develop a good sense of the cultural scripts and discourses that together form ‘railway suicide’ as a knowable and available means of ending one’s life.

More specifically, from these sources we have been able to draw out the factors that seemingly attract people to the method/location (quick, lethal, accessible, commonly used method), and also what dissuades them (impact on others - especially the driver, possibility of surviving with injuries, possibility of intervention, fear-inducing method). The logic, in terms of a messaging / communications strategy, would therefore be to challenge the ‘attractors’ (because many are misunderstandings or myths) and try to reinforce or amplify the ‘dissuaders’. There are complexities and difficulties to be considered, though, particularly around risks, possible unintended consequences, and the nuances needed to communicate to different audiences.

KeywordsSuicide; Railways; Suicide prevention; Discourse
Year2020
PublisherCanterbury Christ Church University
Output statusPublished
File
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
Print01 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Aug 2020
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8vx1q/suicide-on-the-railways-in-great-britain-a-multi-disciplinary-analysis

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