Year: 2020 Source: Crisis. (2020). Preprint accepted 26 August 2020 SIEC No: 20200767

Background: It is necessary to identify stations where suicide is likely to occur to  devise promising railway suicide countermeasures. Aim: We examined the relationship between station characteristics and the occurrence of suicide. Methods: (Study 1) Using suicide data between April 2014 and September 2019 provided by a major railway company in Japan, station-specific suicide was modeled as an outcome variable in a multivariate Poisson regression model. (Study 2) With staff from a railway company, we visited stations at which suicide frequently occurs and conducted fieldwork.

Results: (Study 1) Our estimation using a Poisson regression model revealed that railway suicides were more frequent when stations were serviced by passing trains, had a large number of passengers, and were located near psychiatric  hospitals. (Study 2) Of 50 suicides, approximately half occurred in front of benches or waiting rooms. Approximately one quarter occurred at the front end of platform or the entrance to the platform. Approximately one fifth occurred at a blind spot for the train driver.

Limitations: The data were provided by one railway company in Japan, limiting the generalizability of the results. Conclusions: Stations at which suicide occurs frequently have distinct characteristics. Focusing on suicide hot spots may aid suicide prevention.