No simple way to stop suicides by train

In 2016, 275 people in the U.S. killed themselves by jumping in front of a moving train.

Cathy Barber of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health explained in a July 27, 2018 Palm Beach Post article that such suicides represent only “a tiny proportion of suicides nationally” and discussed why they are so difficult to prevent. Barber, who directs the Means Matter Campaign at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, noted that media coverage of these suicides could ultimately exacerbate the problem by giving other people the idea to commit suicide in a similar manner.

While some train operators in the U.S. have installed suicide-prevention signage near tracks, Barber expressed doubt that this is an effective move. “I don’t know that there are specific steps that don’t perversely draw attention to trains as a method of suicide,” she said.

Read the Palm Beach Post article: No easy fix to collisions between trains, people seeking to end lives