(Inook Yeo)

A popular attraction for locals and tourists at Goldstream Trestle Park has been restricted to the public.

Permanent barriers have now been constructed around the rail infrastructure at popular trestle bridge as part of a joint suicide prevention strategy in the West Shore and Sooke areas.

Hikers in the area have said that there are no clear markers going up to the popular spot until people reach the barriers.

The Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHA BC) and the Island Corridor Foundation collaborated to provide safety improvements in and around the railway infrastructure.

The construction of the barriers comes as earlier this year municipal, provincial, community-sector, first responder, education, elected and railway infrastructure leaders coordinated and mobilized resources to better respond to crisis and suicide in the area.

“We know that communities have a critical role to play in its prevention by providing support and a safety net to people who are experiencing a suicidal crisis. Lives can be saved with the appropriate services, supports, and means [sic] safety measures in place,” said CMHA BC CEO, Jonny Morris in March.

The CMHA BC has been working to raise awareness about services and supports, reinforce links between systems of care, and improve the safety in and around railway infrastructure.

Earlier this year, on the evening of January 9th,the body of 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche was discovered in Goldstream Provincial Park after he had gone missing.

Moving forward, the CMHA BC will work to expand key services like community counselling, safety improvements, and other evidence-based measures.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the B.C. Crisis Centre Distress Line number at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433

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