Railway worker who saved 29 lives honored in the UK
A railway station assistant in the U.K. has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his remarkable efforts in preventing 29 suicides.
About the honoree: Rizwan Javed, a 33-year-old worker at the MTR Elizabeth Line, has been saving lives at Ealing Broadway station by approaching and talking to individuals who appear to be in difficult situations. Javed learned the skills in identifying vulnerable people and conversation techniques from a Samaritans suicide prevention training he had attended when he started his job about 10 years ago.
About the honor: The MBE is a prestigious honor bestowed by the British monarchy to individuals who have made significant contributions to society. Established in 1917, it recognizes outstanding achievements and service in various fields, including public service, arts and sciences, and charity work, among others.
Announced by the Cabinet Office, the main list in the 2024 New Year Honors named over 1,227 recipients, including celebrities such as actress Emilia Clarke, England goalkeeper Mary Earps and actor James Martin.
A Samaritan’s approach: In an interview with “This Morning” hosts Josie Gibson and Rylan Clark on ITV, Javed shared insights into his approach, emphasizing the importance of open conversation and trust-building.
“It’s just about engagement and to do it from the heart, open conversation, build small talk, building that person’s trust,” he said. “I feel the biggest thing is having the confidence. But if you really want to make a difference from the heart, it’s an amazing feeling. You’ll go out of your way, and you’ll do what you can for that individual.”
On expanding awareness: Javed, who shares his experiences on his Instagram and TikTok pages, plans to leverage his MBE to expand awareness on mental health issues and further elevate the conversation.
“It’s important we speak about it,” he said in the interview. “Speaking about it determines how you end up in life. Within the Asian community, mental health wasn’t spoken about so much or so openly, and I want to make a change.”
If you or anyone you know is at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.
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