Your initial fears about openly discussing suicide are very common and probably the most prevelent view.
An analogy i often use in training volunteers is to imagine having cancer and going to a doctor who wouldnt mention the subject!
This analogy is also thought provoking when thinking about suicide prevention measures.Imagine he pain of that cancer was unbearable and your doctor ignored your pain and concentrated only on preventing your death.
Railings at bridges etc are noble ideas but do nothing to lessen an individuals suffering.
Not talking about suicide and focusing on the act of suicide as the problem is a subtle slieght of hand that relects our own discomfort with the subject and make us act like as a society like the above doctor