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Brain Physics » Depression » Recent Suicides via Bridges Prompt Authorities to Put Up Barriers

Recent Suicides via Bridges Prompt Authorities to Put Up Barriers

Submitted by Dr. Cheryl Lane Sun 10/03/2010

Jumping off bridges and other high structures has been a suicide means utilized by thousands of individuals over the past several decades. The recent high profile suicide of 18 year old Tyler Clementi, the college student who was bullied by peers, has once again prompted authorities to consider adding barriers and other preventative measures to bridges such as the George Washington Bridge in New York – the bridge from which Clementi jumped to his death.

Just two weeks earlier, a reality show contestant, deep in debt, also jumped from this famous bridge.

Many famous high structures, such as the Empire State Building, have safety nets or concrete barriers to prevent people from using them for suicide. Many of them also have strategically placed telephones with suicide prevention hot line numbers to help suicidal individuals reach out for help. However, some experts say that the telephones are not very effective, as suicidal individuals are not likely to use them at that point.

Barriers have served to be somewhat effective, although many jumpers have found ways around them. However, authorities are continuing to look into the best ways to help reduce the number of suicides committed each year via these structures.

Highly public forms of suicide, such as jumping from a landmark, are sometimes appealing because the person perceives it as a way to make a statement or get attention. But the appeal of high structures is also the belief that death will be both certain and instant – which, sadly, is not always the case.


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