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Mental health booklet given out at train station aims to prevent suicide

Nurse Rachel Luby says COVID-19 has brought stresses that need to be addressed 

Mental health nurse Rachel Luby says COVID-19 has brought stresses which could develop into suicidal feelings

A new booklet, created by a nurse to signpost people to mental health services and help those at risk of suicide, is being handed out at Romford train station in east London.

The booklet, published as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which runs until 16 May, has been produced by the NHS in partnership with Network Rail Anglia. It aims to reach people with mental health issues and offer them advice on getting help before they reach a crisis point.

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Mental health nurse Rachel Luby says COVID-19 has brought stresses ‘which could develop into suicidal feelings’

Picture: iStock

A new booklet, created by a nurse to signpost people to mental health services and help those at risk of suicide, is being handed out at Romford train station in east London.

The booklet, published as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which runs until 16 May, has been produced by the NHS in partnership with Network Rail Anglia. It aims to reach people with mental health issues and offer them advice on getting help before they reach a crisis point.

Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Mental health nurse Rachel Luby, who has been working with the train network on the project, says the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s mental health.

‘The past year would have had some impact,’ she said, ‘whether that’s on people already with their own vulnerabilities, or people exposed to new stresses.’

She said these stresses could include bereavement, financial insecurity from being made redundant or being furloughed, addiction or experiencing trauma such as domestic or sexual violence – all of which could develop into suicidal feelings.

‘It’s about empowering people to make choices long before the point where we see someone at a station who is suicidal,’ she said.

Booklet has prompted mental health discussions

The booklets have been handed out at Romford station and there are plans to distribute them more widely, including at stations across Essex, Greater London, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Ms Luby, who won the mental health nursing category at the 2019 RCNi Nurse Awards, said the public response to the booklets has been encouraging: the distribution team had 70 discussions with people about their mental health in just two-and-a-half hours, including 27 in-depth conversations.

‘That’s way more than we imagined,’ she said.

Ms Luby added that while the booklets are not available online, nurses can email her at rachel.luby@nhs.net for a copy. She also asked nurses to use the Hub of Hope app if they want to signpost people to mental health services.

Where to get help with mental health issues

  • Call the Samaritans for free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website
  • The RCN offers a free, confidential counselling service to members. Call 0345 772 6100 or find out more on their website
  • The Laura Hyde Foundation is a charity that provides mental health support to all healthcare and emergency services staff, including self-help resources and a clinically supervised support line
  • The NHS Support Line, on 0300 131 7000, is available between 7am and 11pm daily, with a text service available 24/7 – text FRONTLINE to 85258

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