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12.09.2016
Canton and SBB to work together


Although the number of suicides in Switzerland has declined in recent years, the number of those killing themselves by throwing themselves under a fast-moving train has increased. In order to tackle this problem, the SBB launched a suicide prevention scheme in 2012, with the canton of Zurich following in 2015. Now, both the canton and the SBB have announced they will be working together on this project.
 
On average, someone kills themself on the railway tracks every three days. Not only is the person himself or herself affected, so are their relatives and the members if the rescue services and the employees of the SBB.
 
Last Friday, Karin Amacker of the SBB board mentioned at a press conference how as many as 10,000 staff at the company have been trained in suicide prevention, and that there was much interest shown in this.
 
She also mentioned how the SBB tried to prevent incidents of suicide in situ, by conducting patrols at places known to be favoured by suicide victims or by trying to prevent them by means of a fence or wall.
 
Now, according to this article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a new method with a camera on the locomotive itself is to be tried out. Amacker said that the point of the camera was not to stop the train and hence prevent a suicide in this way. She explained that people with suicidal intentions did not so much suddenly jump onto the tracks in front of a train but for the most part lingered in the vicinity beforehand. It was thought a camera might be able to help recognise people at risk so that they could be approached by people who could help, just as SBB employees at stations might do if they spot a person on the platform they think might be contemplating killing themselves.
 
Thomas Heiniger, the cantonal director of health said that more needed to be done to prevent people committing suicide. As it is known people planning their own death often go online to find ways of how to go about it, a new website entitled “speaking can save” (www.reden-kann-retten.ch), which provides information about how important it is to talk over one’s problems with someone, is being set up.
 


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