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2015 News

Commissioners Join SEPTA Officials to Unveil National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Signs at Langhorne Station

February 12, 2015

Audrey Tucker, of SEPTA talks about the sign programAs commuters scurried through freezing conditions to board their train today at SEPTA’s Langhorne Station, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW stood alongside SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. “Pat” Deon and Pennsylvania State Representative Frank Farry to unveil a significant community outreach. The dignitaries were joined by Dawn Seader, interim administrator of the Bucks County Department of Mental Health/Developmental Programs (MH/DP) and members of the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Starting in September, 2014, SEPTA began posting National Suicide Prevention Lifeline signs at its stations system-wide. The signs offer a number (1-800-273-TALK) that is available to provide help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The local hotline will be supported by Family Services Association.

Dawn Seader of MH/DP on the importance of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Assistance"This is very courageous of SEPTA. Instead of running from this difficult issue they took it on,” stated Commissioner Marseglia. “These signs will be a possible life line to those in dire straits...struggling with a disconnect on the worst day of their lives, in the worst moments.   But they are also a light toward hope for ANYONE who sees them and makes a call that leads to their getting help with emotional or any challenging issues.  Hence they are both a safety and prevention tool."

According to SEPTA Chief Safety Officer Scott Sauer, the Langhorne ceremony represented the ceremonial last step in the process. SEPTA data indicates that approximately 50 percent of the fatalities on SEPTA’s rail system each year are ruled suicide. During a recent calendar year, 18 suicides took place on SEPTA rail lines. He noted that the signs will be a success if they provide assistance for even one struggling individual.

Frank Farry discusses the Suicide Awareness Program with SEPTA, the State and County, and the difference they hope it will makeRepresentative Farry recalled a recent suicide on the Langhorne line that took the life of a Neshaminy High student. As a first-responder, he has witnessed the devastation that suicide generates.

A survivor of suicide whose daughter passed away 10 years ago, Commissioner Marseglia expressed gratitude for the signs, which are prominently placed on station platforms. "Those of us who have lost a loved one to suicide become chronically aware that there are many reasons that lead to such feelings of despair but there are also many things that might have saved our loved one’s life,” she added. “Unfortunately there isn't just one ‘thing’ ...so we have to have many options to try and stop suicide. The signs are a courageous effort.”

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-TALK

Suicide Prevention Sign at the Train Station