Suicide in Rural vs. Urban Areas: How public transportation affects our moods
“According to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Suicide rates in the United States are actually highest in rural areas of the country – not urban ones. The suicide rate is 50% higher in rural areas than in major cities (Department of Health and Ageing, 1999).”
I grew up in Los Angeles, which more or less is a city that runs on cars, and it can be isolating. People barely even carpool and you find people alone as they navigate through their day.
This is not the case in New York City. There is a public transportation system that crosses all walks of life. Rich, poor, black, white, the variety of people allows you to be in physical contact with fellow human beings. When I lived in New York it was on the train that I found solace and comfort, even if I was riding alone.
Now I am back in LA, back in my car, and know this has an effect on my mood. The handful of times I have taken the bus or train, I find myself stimulated, alive, and refreshed. It’d be nice if Los Angeles found a way to expand their public transportation system. Los Angeles is a culturally divided city. The Westside has no trains, and they say the city is going to eventually build a subway connecting East LA to West LA.
What’s the hold up? Does your public transportation in your city affect your mood? If so, how?
POEM: THE RED LINE
The subway light
Tearing your eyes around to find him
Someone to dissect in your writing mind
Or talk to
A non-rush of
I need to reach out
More than a drink of water
Open and close
More people step on
And walk out
And you are excited to know that there is another flock
Of wild bugs caught in trench coats
Waiting to sink
Into their seat
It doesn’t stop
It swirls in cession
With atoms of the universe
And peels away people’s emotions
Brushed on their gestures
On the train.
Tram photo available from Shutterstock
Loberg, E. (2013). Suicide in Rural vs. Urban Areas: How public transportation affects our moods. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2013/03/21/suicide-in-rural-vs-urban-areas-how-public-transportation-affects-our-moods/