California News Article: Bridge Nets

Suicide is a topic that’s met with mixed emotions, however, regardless of moral compass, it results in loss of life, which resonates deeply through the lives of those left behind. It surfaced this past week that the renown, Chester Bennington, vocalist of the famed Linkin Park, had been lost to suicide. This tragedy only solidifies the fact that suicide is a fatal epidemic that is non-discriminatory in nature, and lobbyists feel, must be contained.

With a 98% mortality rate, since San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge’s inception, it has claimed over 1,500 lives. The implementation of suicide countermeasures, such as discouraging signage, emergency personnel patrols, and telephone hotlines didn't seem to be enough to prevent the dozens of lives lost in 2017 alone.

There is an inaccurate stigma attached to taking that 220 ft leap into the bay, that being death will be quick and painless when it's quite the contrary. The surface tension of the ocean is what ultimately claims victims. A claim supported by Golden Gate Spokesperson, Priya Clemens, says jumpers will experience shattered bones, quickly followed by asphyxiation due to the inability to swim.

Although a suicide barrier was thought to be impractical with aesthetics in mind. The $210 million dollar price tag isn't incredibly attract either, but the idea has resurfaced.

The idea is that these horizontally installed steel beams, instead of acting as a net, dissuade people with the thought of injury. Case studies show that individuals who've successfully been dissuaded from suicide go on to live long and meaningful lives.

Although it's projected that the installation will take approximately 4 years to complete, many believe the ends will ultimately justify the means.

Contemplations of the installation of safety nets has also been discussed in regards to San Diego’s, 2 mile long, Coronado Bridge, which has claimed over 400 lives since 1969.

Please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or if you or a loved one are coping with thoughts of suicide.