Every 21 days someone commits suicide by jumping in front of a train in Australia*. This tragic statistic speaks volumes to the negative mental health epidemic our country is up against.
For Steph Alksne and Miriam Frangakis, training they had received as part of their Diploma of Youth Work (CHC50413) with SU QLD (RTO 30548) gave them the confidence to help a stranger in the middle of a life-threatening situation.
“We were on the train home from our training day on crisis management and de-escalation when a young woman walked past us screaming,” Steph recalls.
“She was clearly in a lot of distress so I just stayed near her as we both got off the train.
“Then she jumped on the train tracks, so straight away I rang the police.
“She ran off the tracks and climbed a three-metre high fence – as she jumped over she cut her hands on the wire.”
Steph and Miriam found her collapsed in a heap next to a nearby road.
“By the time we got to her she had calmed herself down, but was sobbing uncontrollably,” Steph says.
“We got down to her level and calmly introduced ourselves – we explained that we were safe people. We gave her some water and an apple, and helped her bandage her wound with a first aid kit from my car.
“I was trying to work out what had triggered her reaction on the train, so I asked her some simple questions. She had just received a call on the train from her ex-partner after access to her children had been taken away from her.”
Steph and Miriam stayed with the young woman until she was calm enough to get back on the train and continue her journey home. They alerted the train driver to the situation, before sending the young woman on her way through hugs and tears.
Steph says the well-timed training made all the difference in the stressful situation.
“Without my training I would’ve got myself in a mess,” Steph says.
“[The training] gave me confidence. I had a better idea of what to do and what not to do – it helped me take a well-thought-out path of action to help her where she was at.”
If you’re passionate about walking alongside young people to help them become the best version of themselves, a Certificate IV or Diploma from Scripture Union Queensland is practical, effective option to get equipped for youth work.
*statistic taken from the National Rail Safety Regulator’s 2017-18 Annual Report