Suicide by jumping

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997 Jul;96(1):1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1997.tb09897.x.


This review summarizes the published literature on suicide by jumping, in particular focusing on the social and psychological characteristics of people who have chosen this method of suicide, and the opportunities for prevention. Suicide by jumping accounts for 5% of suicides in England and Wales, and there are marked variations in the use of this method world-wide. A number of locations have gained notoriety as popular places from which to jump. Such sites include The Golden Gate Bridge and Niagara Falls in the USA, and Beachy Head and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the UK. There is no consistent evidence that those who commit suicide by jumping differ sociodemographically or in their psychopathology from those who use other methods of suicide, although this method is more often used for in-patient suicides, possibly due to lack of access to other means. Survivors of suicidal jumps experience higher subsequent rates of suicide and mental ill health, but the majority do not go on to kill themselves, suggesting that preventive efforts may be worthwhile. This view is supported by other evidence that restricting access to the means of suicide may prevent some would-be suicides. Such measures may also reduce the emotional trauma suffered by those who witness these acts. Health authorities and coroners should consider reviewing local patterns of suicide by jumping, and if necessary institute preventive measures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Architectural Accessibility
  • Cause of Death
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide* / ethnology
  • Suicide* / prevention & control
  • Suicide* / psychology
  • Suicide* / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Survivors / psychology