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Rail Suicide


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From my perspective, a well written and insightful article. In particular I found this paragraph very interesting:


The patient must learn that the train driver is not the perpetrator, but the victim. He may have been driving the locomotive, but he didn't kill anyone; the people who committed suicide did so themselves. Anger is good, says Kall, anger at the person who put you in this position. Anger helps the train driver escape from the role of perpetrator.


When my railway first offered professional counselling for crews involved in fatalities, I went to see the psychologist after having one. He asked me how I felt about it, and I told him I was angry. He said he didn't understand why I'd feel that way. He started going on about how the person we'd hit must have felt before they died, and how their family must have felt, and how I should have empathy instead of anger because they were a person too, and so on. That was the last thing I needed to hear, so I told him he was an insensitive arsehole, threw his phone book at him and walked out. When I went back to work I told my boss that if that's the best we could do we should go back to our previous approach, which was to self-medicate with a six-pack from Dr Tooheys.


Happpily, our current arrangements for critical incident support are so much better. My depot's counsellor is a former ambulance paramedic who has had many experiences similar to ours. She's a great listener. She gets it.


Anyway, sorry for the rant, and thanks for posting the article.



Edited by marknewton
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