Pass the Barriers to Suicide Act

Prevention, Early Intervention, & Youth
Research & Technology
social determinants of health
No items found.
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Older Adults
Coverage & Standards
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Federal department
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house committees
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
senate committees
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee


Congress should pass the Barriers to Suicide Act, which directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a program to facilitate the installation of evidence-based suicide deterrents and establishes a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study to explore what types of structures attract suicide attempts.[1][2]


In 2021, more than 48,000 individuals died by suicide, a 5 percent increase from the prior year. The highest rates were among American Indian / Alaska Native people, men, and adults aged 75 and older.[3] Fortunately, suicides can be prevented. One effective way to save lives is to install barriers on bridges and other accessible areas of significant height. Simply delaying or deterring an individual at risk can provide time to get past intense moments of crisis. Research demonstrates the effectiveness of such barriers. One study in Australia showed that barriers on bridges saved lives, resulting in a 240 percent return on investment.[4] In the U.S., the placement of barriers on bridges have similarly cut the number of suicides in those locations.[5]

By helping communities install barriers on bridges, the Barriers to Suicide Act would save lives. Its GAO study would help inform the most effective means of preventing suicides on bridges and other high structures, improving our ability to save lives in the future.


1. Barriers to Suicide Act of 2023. H.R. 3759 (Beyer and Fitzpatrick), 118th Congress (2023-2024). Last Accessed June 15, 2023.

2. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and Rep. Donald Beyer. Fitzpatrick, Beyer, Napolitano Introduce Barriers to Suicide Act. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. Last Accessed June 2, 2023.

3. U.S. Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide Data and Statistics. Last Accessed July 16, 2023.

4. Plumee Bandara, Jane Pirkis, Angela Clapperton. Cost-effectiveness of Installing Barriers at Bridge and Cliff Sites for Suicide Prevention in Australia. JAMA Network Open. Last Accessed 2022.

5. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Suicide Prevention on Bridges: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Position. Last Accessed January 2017.