6) Physical barriers to suicide have been shown to work and so can conceptual onesStudies show that when we put up a barrier fence on a bridge famous for suicides, the people who go there to jump do not go to another bridge. Bridge barriers lower the real, overall suicide rate. That is why we are finally putting up a barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge — as a chorus of experts in various fields explained, suicide barriers save lives. The act is so impulsive that most of the time people do not seem to plan ahead enough to find a backup bridge and make sure it is climbable and high enough to do the job.
In the 1990s the United Kingdom was seeing a lot of suicide by acetaminophen overdose, so they legislated that the drug had to be sold in smaller quantities. Deaths by acetaminophen overdose fell significantly. The number of overdoses stayed constant, but far fewer were fatal. People survived because the act is so impulsive that they only ingest what is in the house, so smaller bottles save lives.
In the US over half the gun deaths are suicides and over half the suicides involve guns. Having immediate means is bad. If you are looking after yourself, see that it would at least take you a few hours and a bit of effort and human interaction. I have heard from several men and women who store their guns in someone else's home for this reason.
The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said suicide is always a rushing of one's defenses, and added that there is nothing worse than rushing your defenses. Wittgenstein felt suicidal off-and-on his whole life and three of his four brothers committed suicide, but he had worked out reasons suicide was wrong and he didn't do it. As a rule, we cannot usefully tell ourselves not to be depressed, but it seems that we can usefully tell ourselves not to commit suicide.