Metro's Suicide Awareness Campaign Put on Hold

Transit agency still trying to put together a program to prevent suicides

Metro’s plan to start up a suicide awareness program has been put on hold, according to the Washington Examiner.

The transit agency had planned to start up a public campaign and a training program for employees in February.  But the Examiner said the training still hasn’t even started.

The idea for the program came after a spike in suicides on Metro in 2009.  Nine people took their lives on the tracks, compared to the typical two in one year.

So far in 2010, the Examiner reports that three people have killed themselves on the transit system.  Two did so on the train tracks, while a third jumped from a parking garage.

Metro originally decided to partner with several regional prevention organizations.  But it later decided to instead partner with D.C.’s Department of Mental Health, the D.C.-based American Association of Suicidology and the Toronto subway system, according the Examiner.  The plan was to come up with a suicide awareness program for riders, and a prevention program for employees.

“It’s definitely been delayed,” Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates told the Examiner.  "Metro remains committed to implementing a suicide prevention campaign.”

Gates also said that Metro’s general manager has proposed setting aside $100,000 for the program in next year’s budget.  There’s still no word however on when the program would start.

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