In the Netherlands, a dog sleeps for an average of 12 to 14 hours a day. We travel an average of 28 kilometres to our work, and watch TV for 3 hours and 20 minutes. Every day in the Netherlands, an average of 480 people are born and an average of 381 people pass away. Within this group, 2 people die from a traffic accident. And every day, 5 people in the Netherlands decide to end their life by committing suicide. Over the last year, there have been 1835 cases of suicide, a number that is higher than ever before and is likely to increase.
Suicide prevention pervades many different aspects of daily life and infrastructure. One of the most direct forms of prevention are the nets and fences that are placed on the top of high buildings and churches with access to an open space; physical measurements that obstruct someone from jumping down. Fences that
are placed beside train tracks also limit the chances of getting access to dangerous grounds. All of these obstacles function as a physical border. What intrigues me in particular is that they also serve as a strong mental barrier, providing time to reflect and, hopefully, to reconsider. A popular and common thought is:
‘if someone wants to commit suicide, they will make it happen no matter what’. This is a false one. Of all people who want to commit suicide, many silently hope that someone or something will show them an alternative.