HealthMental Health


New York City officials hope blue lights will save lives in the subway

The Metropolitan Transit Authority installed the lights in an effort to reduce suicide attempts.
New York subway
Posted at 10:59 AM, Jun 14, 2023

Passengers are noticing blue lights in the New York City subway. 

The Metropolitan Transit Authority installed the lights in an effort to reduce suicide attempts. 

"Studies have suggested that blue lighting provides a 'nudge effect' that is calming and can reduce the incidence of individuals committing suicide by jumping or otherwise trespassing on tracks," the MTA said in a statement when announcing the program. 

The MTA released statistics in May 2022 that showed that there were 27 suicides or suicide attempts in the first four months of 2021. The agency said that was a 50% increase from the year prior. 

Blue lights will be installed at a total of 26 stations this year, the MTA states. 

A study out of Japan shows that there was an 84% decrease in suicides on subways after blue lights were installed. 

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Blue lights are not the only method being used to prevent suicides in the New York City subway. 

The MTA said it's also installing more cameras and making officers more visible. In addition, the agency said it will have more social service outreach opportunities in high-traffic areas. 

If you need to talk to someone, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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