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Metro Trying To Reduce Suicides On Rails

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The thing about suicides is that there's always more than one victim. Think, for example, about Metro drivers.

"It can be devastating," says Mary Azoy, Director of Community Education and Crisis Response at Crisis Link, a suicide prevention group. "People who are witness to or otherwise emotionally impacted by the loss of someone to suicide are trauma victims," says Azoy.

They suffer sleeplessness, anxiety, depression. The suicide rate is higher among suicide witnesses.

Some view suicide as an incredibly selfish act, done in spite of all of the negative consequences for others. But Azoy says people who try to take their own lives are essentially cognitively impaired. They do not, and cannot, think about the effects of their actions because they are so focused on their pain and making it end.

Metro is partnering with a whole coalition of prevention groups led by Crisis Link. They'll try to help employees identify warning signs on the platform, teach them how to stave off an attempt, and to counsel train operators and witnesses.

There have been nine suicide attempts on metro rails this year, seven of which have been fatal.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports...

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