Saturday, October 11, 2008

Golden Gate Bridge to get suicide net to catch would-be jumpers

I wrote a few days back about physical barriers to suicide. This is about such an attempt at one of America's premier suicide destinations, the Golden Gate Bridge:

"About 2,000 people have jumped from the storied bridge since it opened in 1937. So far this year, 19 have made the leap, which is almost always fatal. Whether public funds should be used to prevent additional suicides has been passionately debated.

Writing to the board last summer, San Francisco resident Paul J. Miller expressed a view that many others had raised: "Attention should be given to mental health assistance," he wrote, "not paying tens of millions of dollars to contractors who are just trying to milk money from citizens."

On the other hand, the Psychiatric Foundation of Northern California has supported the idea, contending that the effectiveness of barriers has been "dramatic" at such landmarks as the Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower.

The group also cites a study of 515 people who were stopped from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. It concluded that 94% of them were alive or had died naturally long after their thwarted attempts."

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