‘No man is a failure who has friends’: Script of the Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life will be painted at train stations all over the country to boost mental health this festive season
- The 1947 film is widely considered one of Hollywood’s ultimate Christmas films
- It tacitly chronicles one man’s suicide bid when his picture-perfect life unravels
- Virgin now using script’s most poignant lines in beautiful mental health initiative
- Train company is spray-painting quotes onto platforms from London to Scotland
- Every January from 1981-2015 has seen a surge in suicides, ONS data proves
It’s A Wonderful Life’s most famous quotes will appear on UK train platforms in a new mental health initiative.
Over 7.5km of memorable script from the 1947 classic – which tacitly chronicles one man’s suicide bid – will be spray-painted at 14 locations over the next two weeks, including; London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow.
They’ll direct customers – via a URL embedded in the copy – to information, advice and support around emotional well-being during the festive period.
It’s a joint venture by UK charity Rethink Mental Illness and Virgin Trains, who’ll roll-out the project on their West Coast route.
Much like the film’s protagonist, men are the most at-risk suicide group in the UK.
Christmas classic with a timeless message: James Stewart and Donna Reid star in Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, which tacitly addresses the issue of male suicide
The project officially launched in London’s Euston today and will snake up the country over the next fourteen dates.
They’ll appear in Rugby (Friday 23 November), Birmingham International (27 November) and Birmingham New Street (28 November).
Then, they’ll manifest in Stafford on 29 November and Stoke-on-Trent the following day. Crewe will adorn their platforms on 3 December.
From 4-6 December they’ll feature Warrington Bank Quay, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly respectively.
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From here, the goodwill references will hit Preston (10 December), Penrith (11 December), Carlisle (12 December) and Glasgow (13 December).
According to Rethink Mental Illness, the move could save countless lives during – and after – the Christmas and New Year celebrations, when feelings of isolation are exacerbated.
Month-by-month data from the Office of National Statistics shows a surge in suicides for every January from 1981-2015.
Going live: The project – which name-checks the film’s guardian angel, Clarence – officially launched in London’s Euston today and will snake up the country over the fourteen dates
Compelling: The move could save countless lives during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, when feelings of isolation are exacerbated across the nation
Natasha Grice, Executive Director of People at Virgin Trains, said: ‘It’s A Wonderful Life is a story of hope, redemption and kindness, which teaches us that having someone there for you when you need it the most is one of the greatest gifts you can receive.
‘Many of our people have been personally affected by the issues raised in this campaign or know someone who has been.
‘ This is why we wanted to get as many of our staff involved as possible, working to create a message of kindness that will touch as many of our customers as we can.
‘We want everyone to know there’s help out there, and that if you’re not affected by poor mental health, it’s really easy to help someone who is.’
Intervention: A station employee at Euston adorns a platform with one of the film’s quotes, which reminds people of the importance of kindnesses this Christmas
Wonderful: The messages direct customers – via a URL embedded in the copy – to information, advice and support around emotional well-being during the festive period
The emotional intervention comes as The Samaritans – who consulted on the project – implement their own pre-emptive measure with their new campaign.
Called Small Talk Saves Lives, it encourages people to start a conversation if they see someone looking isolated, withdrawn or alone on a platform without boarding a train.
‘Even if small talk doesn’t come naturally to you, if something doesn’t feel right, please try to start a conversation,’ Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said.
Moving: The poignant quotes are set to resonate with passengers on Virgin’s West Coast route
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