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Effect of barriers on the Clifton suspension bridge, England, on local patterns of suicide: implications for prevention

  • Olive Bennewith (a1), Mike Nowers (a2) and David Gunnell (a3)
Summary

We assessed the effect of the installation of barriers on the Clifton suspension bridge, Bristol, England, in 1998 on local suicides by jumping. Deaths from this bridge halved from 8.2 per year (1994–1998) to 4.0 per year (1999–2003; P=0.008). Although 90% of the suicides from the bridge were by males, there was no evidence of an increase in male suicide by jumping from other sites in the Bristol area after the erection of the barriers. This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of barriers on bridges in preventing site-specific suicides and suicides by jumping overall in the surrounding area.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor David Gunnell, Department of Social Medicine, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR; UK. Tel: +44 (0) 0117 928 7253; fax: +44 (0) 0117 928 7325; email: D.J.Gunnell@Bristol.ac.uk
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Beautrais, A. L. (2001) Effectiveness of barriers at suicide jumping sites: a case study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35, 557562.
Gunnell, D. J. & Nowers, M. (1997) Suicide by jumping. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 96, 16.
Mann, J. J. (2003) Neurobiology of suicidal behaviour. Nature Review. Neuroscience, 4, 819828.
Nowers, M. & Gunnell, D. J. (1996) Suicide from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 50, 3032.
O'Carroll, P. W., Silverman, M. M. & Berman, A. L. (eds) (1994) Community suicide prevention: the effectiveness of bridge barriers. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 24, 8999
O'Donnell, I. & Farmer, R. (1995) The limitations of officia suicide statistics. British Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 458461.
World Health Organization (1992) International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD–10). WHO.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Effect of barriers on the Clifton suspension bridge, England, on local patterns of suicide: implications for prevention

  • Olive Bennewith (a1), Mike Nowers (a2) and David Gunnell (a3)
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