Commuters will soon be seeing signs posted at various Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stations encouraging people to call for help if they may be contemplating suicide.
The signs come from the MBTA’s new partnership with Samaritans Inc., a suicide prevention organization based in Boston.
"If you or someone you know needs someone to listen, Samaritans is there," the sign says. "Call or text 24/7 1-877-870-HOPE (4673)."
With the high-profile deaths of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, Steve Mongeau says Samaritan Inc. has seen a spike in calls. He says signage like this and just speaking to someone could help someone going through a tough time.
"If one of your freinds says something about 'no one would miss me if I didn't show up next week,' stop what you're doing and look them in the eye and say 'what do you mean by that? I care about you and you just frightened me'....be that direct and blunt," he said. "It could save a life."
An estimated 1,500 signs are expected to be posted across stations and crossings. Considered a public service, the signs are paid for by the MBTA.
Massachusetts has seen an increase in deaths by suicide by 35 percent from 1999 to 2016, the Center for Disease control said in a June 2018 report.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.