Year: 2020 Source: Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. (2020). 41(4), 280–287. SIEC No: 20200892

Background: By communicating collision with a person as a reason for post-suicide railway delays, railway companies may involuntarily communicate to the public that colliding with a train is a suicide method. Aims: To compare the impact of the collision with a person delay announcement with an announcement about emergency services and one about collision with an animal (control announcement), we measured suicide-related emotions, associations with suicide, and announcement appreciation. Method: A randomized controlled online experiment (N = 664) was conducted. Results: After exposure to the collision with a person announcement, participants were 9.1 times more likely to indicate suicide as the most probable reason for the delay than after the emergency services announcement. The emotional impact of both announcements was low. Still, participants reported more anger toward the victim after exposure to the collision with a person announcement than after exposure to the emergency services announcement. Announcement appreciation was significantly higher after exposure to collision with a person. Limitations: This online experiment may have reflected real-life situations concerning train delays to only a limited extent. Conclusion: From the perspective of suicide prevention, the emergency services announcement is a more appropriate delay announcement than the collision with a person announcement.