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Evaluation of a novel approach to preventing railway suicides: the Community Stations Project

Evaluation of a novel approach to preventing railway suicides: the Community Stations Project The purpose of this paper is to describe an evaluation of the Community Stations Project. The Community Stations Project was designed to address railway suicides in two ways: by improving the station environment in a manner that might improve community members’ feelings of wellbeing; and raising community members’ awareness of poor mental health and likelihood of reaching out to at-risk individuals. It involved four types of interventions (arts and culture, music, food and coffee, and “special events”) delivered at four stations in Victoria.Design/methodology/approachA short anonymous survey was administered to community members on iPads at the four participating railway stations during the implementation of the interventions (between October and December 2016). The survey included questions about respondents’ demographics, their awareness of the intervention(s), their views of the station, their attitudes towards people with poor mental health and their emotional wellbeing.FindingsA total of 1,309 people took part in the survey. Of these, 48 per cent of community members surveyed reporting noticing an intervention at their station. Noticing the events was associated with positive views of the station, improved understanding of poor mental health, and a greater likelihood of reaching out to someone who might be at risk of poor mental health. Awareness of intervention events was not associated with respondents’ own emotional wellbeing.Practical implicationsContinuing to focus efforts on mental health awareness activities may further strengthen the impact of the Community Stations Project interventions and ultimately prevent suicides at railway stations.Originality/valueThis paper evaluates a novel approach to improving wellbeing and understanding of poor mental health in the train station environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Mental Health Emerald Publishing

Evaluation of a novel approach to preventing railway suicides: the Community Stations Project

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-5729
DOI
10.1108/jpmh-06-2017-0022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe an evaluation of the Community Stations Project. The Community Stations Project was designed to address railway suicides in two ways: by improving the station environment in a manner that might improve community members’ feelings of wellbeing; and raising community members’ awareness of poor mental health and likelihood of reaching out to at-risk individuals. It involved four types of interventions (arts and culture, music, food and coffee, and “special events”) delivered at four stations in Victoria.Design/methodology/approachA short anonymous survey was administered to community members on iPads at the four participating railway stations during the implementation of the interventions (between October and December 2016). The survey included questions about respondents’ demographics, their awareness of the intervention(s), their views of the station, their attitudes towards people with poor mental health and their emotional wellbeing.FindingsA total of 1,309 people took part in the survey. Of these, 48 per cent of community members surveyed reporting noticing an intervention at their station. Noticing the events was associated with positive views of the station, improved understanding of poor mental health, and a greater likelihood of reaching out to someone who might be at risk of poor mental health. Awareness of intervention events was not associated with respondents’ own emotional wellbeing.Practical implicationsContinuing to focus efforts on mental health awareness activities may further strengthen the impact of the Community Stations Project interventions and ultimately prevent suicides at railway stations.Originality/valueThis paper evaluates a novel approach to improving wellbeing and understanding of poor mental health in the train station environment.

Journal

Journal of Public Mental HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 25, 2018

Keywords: Suicide prevention; Mental health; Emotional wellbeing; Community intervention; Rail suicide; Train station

References