This is an article that appeared in the New York Times on July 6 and I finally read it - pencil in hand to underline the important bits. It's recommended reading for those of us with an interest in having a suicide barrier built on the Golden Gate Bridge, especially if we are going to the Open Houses today and tomorrow (I'm only going once) to possibly talk with bridge officials. I draw the line at talking to the press.
I have done quite a bit of reading about suicide over the past 14 months, but found things in this article I didn't know yet (everybody studying suicide has a different theory about the "why" and different opinions on predictability and whether anything can be done about it).
This article concentrated on impulsive suicides which tend to be more deadly than those that are premeditated. I didn't know that, but I did know that jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the deadliest forms of suicide: less than 2% of jumpers survive. Gunshots are 85-92% fatal, overdoses, poisonings even less so. Couldn't find numbers on hangings, the most common form in Germany (my father was a homicide detective and cut plenty of people out of trees).
Of special interest was the study by Richard Seiden, a professor at UC Berkeley who found that of the 515 people who were prevented from jumping between 1937 and 1971, only 6% went on to take their lives.
Anyway, enough editorializing, I highly recommend reading this article and, just in case the link in the title doesn't work, here it is again:
3 hours ago