Landmarks Attract the Suicidal

 By Karen O’Connor:

Niagara Falls and other landmarks attract the suicidal.

In the USA Today article Landmarks have fatal attraction to the suicidal Natalie DeBlasio reported that Niagara Falls (New York) and the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco) among other landmarks attract the suicidal.

Officials in cities and towns across the United States want to find ways to deter these attempts. But as Niagara Parks Police Sgt. Chris Gallagher said, “Whenever you have a natural wonder, there is only so much you can do to set up a safety feature.”

Canadian and American parks, however, have signs posted, video surveillance, and retaining walls. There are also crisis-counseling signs on Golden Gate Bridge that read: “There is hope. Make the call,” and “The consequences of jumping from this bridge are fatal and tragic.” Recently two separate attempts at Niagara Falls resulted in one fatality and the other in rescue and hospitalization.

“We stop about 80% of the people who come to the Bridge to hurt themselves,” said Mary Currie, public affairs directly for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

It seems those who believe their lives are hopeless are often relieved to know someone cares—and there always is someone, even if that person is a stranger––who will reach out and give them a second chance.

Check out this excellent YouTube video from the History channel “History of Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge.”  Be sure to watch it clear through to the end, which describes the sad impact on Coast Guard rescuers who must retrieve victims when landmarks attract the suicidal. Also pay close attention to the research done on people who had been rescued from jumping: most instead of finding other ways to end their lives went on to live productive lives.

If you currently feel suicidal, read our other articles on this site about how much that would hurts others in your life, and stories from people who once felt as desperate as you who lived on, ultimately experienced joy, and positively impacted the lives of others. (Survivors) Also, to  find out about how much God loves you and wants you to live, visit GodTest.com.

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If depressed and suicidal, get help by dialing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline. IF IN IMMEDIATE DANGER of harming yourself or someone else, please call 911.1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or (in Spanish)
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Our blog, Thinking About Suicide, offers personal stories and prayers from those who have overcome the urge to commit suicide or lost someone to suicide. We also list resources related to depression, bullying, cutting and other mental health related topics or news.
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Use our SEARCH box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics. Our authors hope to encourage you and remind you that others in situations like yours have found hope and help. We hope and pray you do too. However, we also encourage you to get local help if you are suicidal: call a counselor or the suicide prevention hotline to connect personally with someone who can help you.

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