watchung station suicide posterThe New Jersey Department of Transportation and NJ Transit have teamed up in an effort to reduce suicides along New Jersey’s rail network.

In late June, the groups announced the updating of NJ Transit’s suicide prevention signs and posters to feature the state’s new, 24-hour NJ Hopeline Suicide Prevention Hotline number. One such poster, which reads “You’re Not Alone,” hangs at the Watchung Ave. train station, where Montclair High School senior Eamonn Wholley took his life on May 30 after a long battle with depression.

In 2012, according to NJ Transit, 16 of the 17 fatalities involving NJ Transit trains were classified as confirmed or possible suicides.  In 2013, 9 of the 11 fatalities involving the trains were classified as confirmed or possible suicides.

Since a committee designed to study the safety of New Jersey’s rail network released its findings and recommendations in a February 2012 report, NJ Transit has implemented a number of changes. They include the installation of new signage and fencing, increased police presence at some stations, rail safety education and public service announcements.

A spokesperson for NJ Transit tells Baristanet that the suicide prevention signs will be placed in every one of NJ Transit’s 164 stations throughout the month of July.