Thursday, June 15, 2017

Help offered when help is needed

On a walk near San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge, we noted this sign.

I had to wonder: do to prospective suicidal jumpers really text the counseling service? Apparently they do.

Last year, KQED News reported:

At a Golden Gate Bridge District Board of Directors meeting in August, officials revealed an alarming statistic: The number of people under the age of 25 showing up at the bridge intending to commit suicide has increased fivefold since 2000. Bridge and California Highway Patrol officers stop most of them, but they still need more help. On average, two to three people jump each month. The majority of the suicides are people under the age of 35.

So bridge officials partnered with Crisis Text Line to publicize this resource.

The Golden Gate Bridge District has recorded more than 120 successful suicide interventions so far this year [in September 2016]. But [Bridge Patrol Capt. Lisa] Locati says she could definitely use more staff — there can be thousands of people on the bridge at one time, and she currently oversees 31 people. In the meantime, she hopes the text line will help them make even more interventions.

“When Crisis Text Line approached us, they had already had — without any advertising — texting conversations with people that have mentioned coming to the bridge to commit suicide,” Locati says.

“Before we formed the partnership, we already had 94 conversations in which people have mentioned the Golden Gate Bridge,” confirms Libby Craig, Bay Area director of Crisis Text Line. “And we do have stories of people who were at the ledge and were back in their homes by the end of a conversation.”

I saw someone jump once. It was the ultimate in irretrievable meaninglessness. Let's hope this resource clicks for those who need it.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

How terrible to see someone jump. I'm glad that there is this effective intervention!

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