Our mission is to prevent suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge and advocate for restricting access to all means of suicide.
January 2020 Newsletter
2019 Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Statistics
Confirmed suicides during the year: 28
Unconfirmed suicides during the year: 2
Interventions during the year: 166
Suicides & interventions during the year: 196

Source: Golden Gate Bridge District
2018 Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Statistics
Confirmed suicides during the year: 27
Unconfirmed suicides during the year: 4
Interventions during the year: 187
Suicides & interventions during the year: 218

Source: Golden Gate Bridge District
No Further Update on Net
As we reported last month, it's likely that completion of the suicide deterrent system on the Golden Gate Bridge will be delayed. The sale of the primary contractor, changes in management and board leadership at the new parent company, and questions about the accuracy of the original bid are the stated reasons for the delay. Bridge District staff are trying to resolve the issue so that construction can get back on track, and we will report new information as it becomes available. Delay means additional, preventable deaths, which we will continue to emphasize. The photo (right), taken last month, shows some of the scaffolding used to install struts to support the net. (Photo by David Hull)
Talking to the Angels

Bob Rosenthal (center with glasses) was an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and one of the people who headed the paper's "Lethal Beauty" series on Golden Gate Bridge suicides in 2005. That front page, top-of-the-fold, seven-part series increased local awareness of the problem and contributed to the Bridge District's decision to add a net under the bridge. Tragically, Rosenthal became part of the story when his 26-year-old son jumped from the bridge last year. Recently, Rosenthal talked to members of the Bridge Angels, who meet every week to walk the bridge and prevent suicides. (Photo by David Hull)
Verrazzano Bridge Update

Following a spate of suicides on New York's Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the local transit authority has installed the first 100 feet of safety fencing. Two 50-foot sections, one on each level of the Brooklyn-to-Staten Island span, are being evaluated to determine how they stand up to high winds. Later this year, the authority will accept bids to complete the remaining 28,000 feet of stainless-steel fencing. In the meantime, the bridge is being lined with suicide prevention signs, and bridge workers are being trained to identify and interact effectively with suicidal people. According to one New York paper, "City council members on both sides of the bridge and the aisle have called for more to be done to dissuade distraught New Yorkers from jumping off the span."
Truckers Line Up to Save Life

After a suicidal man threatened to jump off a freeway overpass in Detroit, Michigan State Police and local officials rounded up 13 semitruck drivers to form a line beneath the overpass. The action shortened the man's potential fall from 16 feet to 6, effectively serving as a safety net. It was 1 a.m. on a Tuesday night on Interstate 696, and all six lanes of traffic in both directions were closed. After four hours, the man was talked down and traffic resumed. According to Michigan State Police, this is standard protocol and has been employed before.
Gun Buyback Event

In December, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and police departments in Gilroy and Morgan Hill held a gun buyback event. Nearly 500 firearms were collected, including 26 assault weapons, 103 shotguns, and 205 handguns. In exchange, the people who turned them in received a total of $47,000. Additionally, 300 gun locks were distributed, along with several hundred information packets containing gun safety and suicide prevention resources. Santa Clara has the lowest suicide rate of any county in California (7.5 per 100,000 people), and one reason why is events like this, which increase public awareness of the problem and reduce access to lethal means.
New Number Approved

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a new, national, toll-free, three-digit phone number for suicide prevention. The number is 988. It will be managed by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, based in New York City, which operates 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the current, national suicide prevention hotline. Logistics are being worked out, and 988 isn't functional yet, so people who are suicidal or concerned about someone who is suicidal need to call or text the TALK number. Spanish-language callers can dial the Lifeline's Spanish number, 1-888-628-9454. All calls are answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by certified crisis counselors.
Bridge Rail Foundation is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Safe, secure, tax-deductible donations can be made by clicking on this link. Community support makes our work possible.
Copyright © 2019 Bridge Rail Foundation. All rights reserved.
3020 Bridgeway #179, Sausalito, CA 94965.

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Bridge Rail Foundation · 3020 Bridgeway #179 · Sausalito, CA 94565 · USA

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