Hotspot barriers reduce suicides by more than 90 per cent: study
Lifeline commends a new study that has found that blocking the means to suicide at locations where suicides occur frequently can reduce the number of deaths at these sites by more than 90 per cent.
Lifeline Research Foundation Executive Director Alan Woodward said the research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, supported the whole-of-community response promoted by Lifeline at suicide hotspots across Australia.
“This study shows that reducing the means to suicide, such as through the installation of barriers and safety nets, should be an essential part of the Federal Government’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy,” Mr Woodward said.
“Similarly, it found the use of signs and telephones to promote help seeking, as well as technology to allow for third-party intervention, significantly lowers the number of deaths by suicide.
“The Lifeline Research Foundation has also found in an evaluation of Lifeline’s Hot Spot Service, which is promoted at specific locations throughout Australia, that people in crisis do take up the offer of help and contact this service to facilitate assistance towards safety.
“Where the Lifeline service is promoted at these locations, there has been an increase in police emergency assistance for safe outcomes and to support the individual experiencing a suicidal crisis.”
In FY15, Lifeline’s Hot Spot Service answered more than 5661 calls from locations with emergency crisis phones and signs.
“At hotspots across Australia, Lifeline engages with stakeholders, including local government, police and emergency services, and communities for a collaborative approach to suicide prevention,” Mr Woodward said.
“Lifeline has also been a vocal supporter of reducing means to suicide at locations – such as through the installation of barriers at look-outs and bridges – and the Lancet Psychiatry study builds on our knowledge in this regard.”
To read the full study, click here.
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
For further information or comment, please contact [email protected] or 0408 407 376.
NB: Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support line 13 11 14 is pronounced ‘thirteen eleven fourteen’.