Efforts to Prevent Railway Suicides in Denmark: A Pilot Study

Annette Erlangsen, Nils La Cour, Christian Ørbæk Larsen, Susanne Skadhauge Karlsen, Simon Witting, Anne Ranning, August G. Wang, Karen Ørnebjerg, Benedicte Schou, Merete Nordentoft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Reviews of camera surveillance systems have demonstrated ambivalent behaviors among people who die by railway suicide. Yet, only few preventive measures have been evaluated. Aims: We aimed to review incidents of suicidal behavior at a Danish railway station, install preventive measures, and monitor subsequent calls to a telephone helpline and reports of suicidal incidences. Method: Suicide incidents at Valby Station during 2012-2018 were reviewed to identify options for preventive measures. Based on these findings, signs encouraging help-seeking and other measures were implemented. Calls to the Danish helpline for suicide prevention and suicidal events at the station were subsequently monitored. Results: The review revealed locations where measures were meaningful and signs, physical barriers, and motion-sensitive lights were installed. Over the following 14 months, no suicide deaths occurred, and the signs were mentioned in 14 calls to the helpline, some of which were made by callers who were evaluated to be at high risk of suicide. Limitations: No direct link between implemented measures and observed outcomes could be established. Conclusion: Installing measures, including signs, at appropriate locations at railway platforms may encourage people in crisis to seek support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCrisis
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • help-seeking
  • intervention
  • railway suicides
  • signposting

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