Samaritans volunteers will be at railway stations across West Midlands Railway network today to raise awareness of Brew Monday. The annual campaign encourages railway staff and passengers to take time out for a cup of tea and a chat.

Brew Monday coincides with ‘Blue Monday’, which is considered to be the most difficult day of the year.

Richard Godwin, suicide prevention co-ordinator for West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway and Network Rail, said: “The idea of Brew Monday is to encourage people, within their busy everyday lives, to make time to stop for a cup of tea and catch up with those around them.Samaritans volunteers will also be offering a listening ear to commuters travelling through stations today.

“For every life lost on the railway, six are saved by those around them through an intervention. The earlier we can make an intervention and engage with those in need, the more effective we can be.”

Neil Peters, strategic programme manager for Samaritans Rail programme, said: “Isolation and loneliness are one of the main reasons people contact Samaritans, so getting together for a brew with friends can provide a lift on what is meant to be one of the most difficult days of the year.”

Samaritans local branch members will be at stations across the West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway networks handing out tea bags and sharing listening tips.

In the West Midlands members will be at: Birmingham New Street, Dudley Port, Sandwell & Dudley, Coventry, Tile Hill, Solihull, Olton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway, Warwick, Warwick Parkway, Leamington Spa, Wolverhampton, Worcester Foregate Street, Kidderminster and Telford,