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A BRIMBANK railway station officer who says he has talked dozens of troubled youths out of harming themselves has called for more to be done to prevent youth suicide.
The staffer, who did not want to be named, welcomed the recent creation of a youth advisory committee in Keilor.
The group was formed after the death of a north-west teenager who took her own life after being bullied online.
The railway station officer said the responsibility of preventing railway deaths often fell on staff.
"We just want to go to work and do our job, but we can't just sit back and do nothing," he said.
"A lot of young people come to the station with the intention of self-harming because they are distressed and not in a stable state of mind.
"I don't consider myself a hero. To me it's just a heartbreaking situation."
Australian rail operators, including representatives of V/Line and Metro, will meet in Brisbane next month for a ground-breaking forum on rail trauma.
Metro is also a partner in a new national public awareness campaign, TrackSAFE, which aims to reduce rail deaths and improve safety at level crossings.
Australasian Railway Association chief executive Bryan Nye said the campaign would also push for increased support for railway employees who witness traumatic incidents or are first on the scene.
"Doing nothing is not working," he said.
"We know it's a very complex and sensitive issue, but we want to create awareness and education at a national level to reduce the number of deaths we have every year on our railway lines."
A research project is being conducted in conjunction with Lifeline to compile accurate data on railway deaths.
"We have also talked to beyondblue about what messages we could put up in railway stations that would effectively reach people in need," Mr Nye said.
"One railway death is one too many."
Western suburbs youth psychologist Michelle Karavas
urged anyone considering self-harm to seek help.
She said young people who felt they were being bullied should talk to a trusted adult such as a parent, school counsellor or co-ordinator.
"Parents need to be aware of bullying and intervene as early as possible to assist their child to reduce or stop harassment. It's important that children and parents hold on to messages and keep them as a record so if it continues they can report it to the police."
Ms Karavas said parents could reduce the chances of children being cyberbullied by restricting their mobile phone and computer use.
"Parents need to be savvy and understand the phone and internet social world their children are living in and educate their children on the risks that come with that."
Metro and V/Line did not wish to comment.
SANE Australia: 1800187263
This article first appeared on www.brimbankweekly.com.au
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