A mental health institution in the province of Friesland plans to use an Australian treatment to help people who have attempted suicide: sending them postcards. Six months after the attempted suicide, patients will be sent a postcard from a counsellor, asking them how they are doing and all.
The people at the mental health institution say it works, that patients like having someone think of them. If the patients are in need of more help, they’ll have something to read to that effect on their postcard.
Of course, it’s by no means a cure of any kind, but if it can stop even one person from trying to off themselves, it’s surely worth it explains the article. This postcard has a ‘lean on me’ quality to it.
(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo: some card I got once)
Tags: mental health, postcards, suicide
ProRail, the Dutch railway network operator, wants to diminish the number of suicides committed by people jumping in front of a moving train. The organisation aims at a reduction of 5% over the next four years. Currently, 200 people kill themselves by jumping in front of a moving train, which is 12% of the total number of suicides, the highest ratio in the region.
According to ProRail, about half of all suicides are committed by people who are undergoing psychiatric care. The network operator has already experimented by placing gates near psychiatric hospitals and by turning level crossings into viaducts.
The current policy of the Dutch Association for Psychiatry (NVvP) is to advise its members to send the suicidal out into the street. This policy is much to the dismay of the Union for Train Drivers and Conductors (VVMC) who point out that people jumping in front of moving trains are very traumatic experiences for their members.
(Photo by Jason Rogers, some rights reserved)
Tags: Prorail, psychiatric care, rail, railways, suicide
Of all the 27 countries of the European Union, the Netherlands takes first place when it comes to railway suicides. The Netherlands has racked up 1,4 deaths per million kilometres of train trips made in a year, while the much sparser tracks in Germany gets 0,6 and Belgium, also a country with much track, scores 0,9.
Although some 190 people in the Netherlands killed themselves by jumping in front of trains in 2006 and some 193 in 2007, the figure was down to 164 in 2008, but was not included in the report of the European Railway Agency on this topic.
One of the possible explanations for the amount of suicides is the fact that people live very close to the tracks. In other countries people who are suicidal probably chose a different method.
(Link: dutchnews, Volkskrant)
Tags: death, suicide, trains