Investigation of neighbourhood factors for railway suicide

This research by Lay San Too, Matthew J Spittal, Lyndal Bugeja, Allison Milner, Mark Stevenson & Roderick McClure published in 2015 in the Journal of Affective Disorders (183 (2015) 142-148) investigates the associations between railway suicide and neighborhood social, economic and physical determinants in Victoria, Australia. It also examines whether the associations are influenced by having high concentration of high-risk individuals in a neighborhood area.

Findings of the multivariate analysis indicate that an elevated rate of railway suicide was strongly associated with neighborhood exposure of higher number of railway stations. Other significant neighborhood risk factors included patronage volume and train frequency. An increased number of video surveillance systems at railway stations and carparks was significantly associated with a modest reduction in railway suicide risk. These associations were independent of concentration of high-risk individuals.

The study concludes that interventions to prevent railway suicide should target vulnerable individuals residing in areas characterised by high station density, patronage volume and train frequency.

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