MEDIA RELEASE: Crisis Centre of BC Urges Bridge Barriers and Fencing to Prevent Suicide

Vancouver, BC – June 17, 2024 – The Crisis Centre of BC is calling for the widespread implementation of bridge barriers and fencing as a key strategy in preventing suicide.

“We are talking about a human being who is likely experiencing their darkest moment,” says Stacy Ashton, Executive Director of the Crisis Centre of BC. “Our goal is to keep them safe and show them that their life matters. Bridge fencing on all bridges, combined with readily available crisis phone access, can achieve this.”

Ashton emphasizes that bridge barriers are not just about preventing suicide, but about creating a safety net and offering a chance for intervention.

“When someone is in crisis, a bridge can become a symbol of finality. Barriers and fencing buy time, allowing that person the opportunity to connect with help and find hope,” she says.

The Crisis Centre cites a report by Toronto Public Health, which highlights the effectiveness of bridge barriers. The report found a 93 per cent reduction in suicide deaths at bridge locations where barriers were implemented.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” says Ashton. “Suicide rates may fluctuate, but what matters most is that the vast majority of people find a path to lives worth living when we’re there for them during their most difficult times. Bridge barriers are a crucial piece of the puzzle in preventing suicide.”

The Crisis Centre acknowledges that aesthetics and cost may be considerations, but believes these concerns can be addressed through design and collaboration.

“We urge bridge authorities and government officials to prioritize public safety and mental health,” concludes Ashton. “Let’s work together to make sure every bridge is a symbol of hope and connection, not despair.”

About the Crisis Centre of BC

The Crisis Centre of BC is a leading provider of crisis intervention and suicide prevention services in British Columbia. The Centre operates 24/7 crisis lines offering barrier-free, non-judgemental, confidential support and follow-up, as well as education and training programs that promote mental wellness and equip schools, organizations and communities to assist people at risk of suicide.

  • 310-6789 (no area code needed)
    BC Mental Health Support Line
  • 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433
    BC Suicide Prevention and Intervention Line
  • 9-8-8
    National Suicide Crisis Helpline / Ligne d’aide en cas de crise de suicide

Media Requests

Jeffrey Preiss
Director, Development & Communications

Stacy Ashton
Executive Director, Crisis Centre of BC
Chair, BC Crisis Line Network

Help Make An Impact

Join us in responding to the mental health crisis and in fostering compassionate, connected, suicide-safer communities.

Donate Volunteer
Our Impact The topic and word "suicide" is not so scary after taking a training from the Crisis Centre of BC. I'm grateful to have been here today, and am hopeful that I can help people in the future. safeTALK participant, Agassiz