Posted by Aston Avery

Listen: how small talk can help to save

Brits are renowned for keeping a stiff upper lip, and rarely go out of our way to strike up a conversation with a stranger in public.  But a little small talk and a simple question such as “do you know where I can get a coffee?” can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s dark thoughts. And now the latest Samaritans campaign reminds us that we already have all the skills needed to save a life.

A new survey from Samaritans shows that only half (50%) of UK adults feel confident approaching and speaking to someone they don’t know if they were concerned about them in public.  The survey also suggests that we’re more comfortable behind a screen as a nation, as people would much prefer chatting to someone they don’t know on the phone (33%) or by email (18%), compared to face-to-face (9%).

The findings come as Samaritans relaunches its Small Talk Saves Lives campaign today, in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry, to empower the public to trust their instincts and start a conversation if they think someone needs help on the railways or in other public settings, giving them the tools and confidence to act.

Aston spoke to leading suicide prevention expert Dr Lisa Marzano.

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