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BART The Bay Area Rapid Transit network in San Francsco California

The call came in today on a Thursday morning, November 6, 2014, at 9:31 AM.

Local authorities are alerted by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the San Francisco, California, rail network that a fatal incident has occurred on one of its Bay Area trains in City of San Leandro traveling from Fremont to Daly City.   Initial reports indicated that a child; a juvenile jumped in front of an inbound BART train, and the incident was fatal.

By 10:03 AM,  updates according to CBS SF Bay Area Local  News website BART had deployed bus service to ensure commuters would be able to complete their commutes, and announced BART had resumed normal train transit services after the delay.

By 11:30 AM today, everything was back to normal.  BART Police thankfully confirms for all an error had been made in initial earlier reports about the victim.  It was not a child.  The victim was an adult female who had  leaped in front of a moving train.

By the time television crews and helicopters were on the scene, eye witnesses were eager to share what they saw concerning the accident.  Technically it was referred to as an incident…….proved to be an intentional act by the victim, and labeled as such.

Eye witnesses recall the accident as just a horrible event.  On many levels those who found themselves on that BART train platform just going about their daily routine, will be forever impacted by what they witnessed.  It  was not a normal event.  A incident or accident…. It lingers with you.  Mostly what will remain for those present are unanswered questions as to why it occurred in the first place, and the visual memory of it all.

Perhaps just a symantec exercise of how to label it properly.

Based on what they saw, they reported the victim was an adult, a young adult, not a child, and she appeared to intentionally jump in front of the oncoming train’s path.

A Suicide

Only three facts are known.   The victim is female, a young adult, and the fatal collision with the BART train appears to have been intentional.

It’s early evening.  I turn on the local evening nightly news, but there are no updates for the anonymous victim.  So, I question why do our most important discussions regarding Mental Health only occur at the end?  If at all.  At the end of life that is, when another has decided to fatally injure them self?  Why is this occurring at all in the 21st Century when we have access in the US to Health Care Systems, and screening systems which have become virtually free often times?  The local news cycle had moved on to larger stories.

Am I alone in believing there should be more of a continuous wider proactive discussion advocating that others should initiate treatment for themselves, or that their loved ones who might have concerns for  another, attempt to initiate treatment and discussions with them who are in need of treatment?

Logically, we can all come to the same conclusion.   A local news cycle may move on quickly but the resources remain intact and available for those in need of treatment and screening.   In fact, there was a  National Mental Illness Awareness Week which recently ended October 11, 2014.   The best resource posted during the week was an opportunity for the general public to take an  anonymous screening ….Help Yourself Help Others website.

The site offers  anonymous screenings online,  and listed local community resources for every State for  in-person screenings and Mental Health resources.

Only Questions Remain

Who is this anonymous victim, what went so terribly wrong, and  who did she leave behind?   Might there have been hope for a different outcome Thursday……time for a pause to her actions….an intervention?

According to the latest Center For Disease Control (CDC) website Deaths and Mortality statistics posted for 2010 final reports, Intentional self-harm (suicide) totaled   39,518.  For the most recent preliminary data for only 2011 see Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2011  [PDF – 1.7 MB])

The Psychiatric Diagnosis most associated with completed Suicides is Major Depression Disorder, Recurrent, with Psychotic Features.

Of all the diagnostic categories, Mood Disorders are associated with the highest risk of completed suicide — approximately 15% to 20% of individuals with Mood Disorders eventually commit suicide.   And, individuals with Depressed and psychotic features are at five times greater risk for suicide as compared to patients with other Mood Disorders.  Symptoms of Depression can, and commonly do, include ideations of self-harm, so seek treatment early for further assistance and concerns.

Hotline Resource

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 880 273 TALK (8255)

CBS SF Bay Area News Article Last Update November 6, 2014 10:03AM

BART Service Resumes After Woman Struck, Killed By Train In San Leandro


UPDATE:    CBS SF Bay Area News Sangeetha Rajkumar of San Leandro on Nov 7th, 2014.   30-Year-Old Woman Struck, Killed By BART Train In San Leandro Identified

Until Next time:  à Donf

By Dr. Lawana R. Lofton, PsyD

Psychologist with one simple goal of making concepts of psychology accessible.