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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has begun a crisis intervention campaign to address a recent increase in suicides on its properties, the agency announced this week.As part of the campaign, BART is posting station signage displaying the National Suicide Lifeline's phone number, which will be accompanied by the phrase, "Suicide is not the route." Signs will rotate throughout the system across from platforms, officials said. In addition, the Bay Area Suicide and Crisis Intervention Alliance (BASICA) will assist the agency in training BART staff to recognize and help people in crisis."We looked at what other transit agencies have done on the topic and with the help of local mental health experts, determined what steps would be appropriate for BART,” said Deputy General Manager Marcia deVaughn in a press release.BART also will distribute National Suicide Lifeline wallet cards at all stations, and officials are considering printing the number on paper tickets, posting permanent station signage about the topic and coordinating outreach events.The agency will explore the feasibility of erecting platform screen doors, as well. The number of people hit by trains more than doubled from 2013 to 2014, increasing from six in 2013 to 14 in 2014, BART officials said. This year, the agency has already seen six such incidents to date. BART didn't specify whether these incidents were caused by suicide.
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