For the third time in 10 years, Caltrain will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight walk this weekend, May 21 & 22, in San Francisco to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
This year’s four-person team, Caltrain Cares, has been able to raise nearly $5,000 for suicide prevention services. In 2012 and 2006, teams of employees joined more than 2,000 people for the 18-mile fundraising event that begins at dusk and goes overnight to dawn. The San Francisco Caltrain Station will be used as the midnight snack stop, which is the half-way point for the event.
Although suicides on the Caltrain right of way make up only 3 percent of all the deaths caused by suicide in the area served by the railroad, they are the focus of public attention because they impact so many people.
Suicides on the Caltrain right of way have a far-reaching impact, not only on the friends and family of the deceased, but also on employees, passengers on the trains and the local community. Participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight is one way that Caltrain is working to help prevent suicide.
Over the past decade, Caltrain has also partnered with local community organizations to implement suicide prevention plans, including Palo Alto’s Project Safety Net, Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee and the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee.
Any person wishing to make a donation through Caltrain’s team page can visit http://theovernight.donordrive.com and type Caltrain Cares in the search box.
Facts & Figures
- In 1996, Caltrain posted “No Trespassing” signs every 1,200 feet along its entire 55-mile corridor.
- In 2001, a suicide prevention sign with a telephone number to a crisis prevention center was added.
- Since 2010, 250 signs were redesigned and replaced as part of a national study to assess their effectiveness.
- In 2013 there were 41,149 reported suicide deaths in the United States.
- Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 15 and 64 years in the United States.
- Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
- Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
*Facts & figures courtesy of Caltrain and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain has enjoyed more than four years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders earlier this year. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.