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Awareness campaign Railways step up suicide prevention

Every other day a person tries to commit suicide on the Swiss railway network

(Keystone)

Switzerland’s national railway company plans to extend measures to prevent suicides on its network, including closer cooperation with health organisations.

Swiss Federal Railways said it would continue an awareness campaign among its more than 30,000 employees and consider technical improvements.

A coordination office was set up last year together with the cantons, federal transport and health authorities as well as private services.

So far about 500 staff confronted with suicides in their daily work have been trained to cope in emergency situations, according to the federal railways.

Officials said suicides cause great human pain among victims’ families and affect passengers and railway employees, notably drivers.

Statistics 

In the past the railways and the media have been reluctant to report on deaths by jumping under trains.

On average, every other day someone tries to commit suicide on the country’s railway network.

Last year, 140 people killed themselves on rail tracks and more than 90 other were seriously injured, a company official said on Wednesday.

In total, an estimated 1,100 people commit suicide in Switzerland every year.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch and agencies

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