Milwaukee teams up with community partners to combat suicide on mass transit

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Spurred by a Federal Transit Administration safety advisory, Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention, The Hop MKE, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have joined forces to combat rising suicide rates on public transit.

From 2011 to 2019, suicides accounted for 52% of nationwide rail transit fatalities, according to the FTA. Milwaukee's response involves placing suicide prevention signage on all Hop MKE streetcars and stations.

Vaynesia Kendrick, Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention's suicide prevention manager, celebrated the initiative in a press release issued on Friday, May 13.

"Partnerships are essential to disseminate positive messaging within our community," said Kendrick.

Andrea Nauer-Waldschmidt, Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services' psychiatric crisis services coordinator, emphasized the importance of community. "Coming together in suicide prevention across public and private partners increases knowledge about available support. People should know they don't have to face this alone."

The signs prominently display resources such as the Milwaukee County Crisis Line and the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, offering immediate assistance for individuals in crisis.

The Milwaukee County Crisis Line can be reached at (414) 257-7222 and the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached by dialing 988.

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