Follow-up on the kid who jumped

It's all in here:



Silence and denial?

I'm sure by now lots of us have heard/read about the kid who jumped from the bridge yesterday and survived. I'm glad he's okay, I'm glad there was news coverage about it. What disturbs me about it is two-fold: the fact that he survived just might inspire others to try, "Hey, if he survived, why can't I?" And second: why is there so much coverage when somebody survives and little or no coverage when somebody dies? Yes, the ABC online story mentioned the fact that at least 1,500 people have died in the past and that there are 20-40 confirmed suicides a year, meaning 1 person every 10-14 days. But there is little coverage otherwise.

When Henry died, the editor of the local paper called the principal of his high school who told him that we did not want anything about Henry's death printed. He wasn't speaking for us (although, at that time, we did not want to go public), I think he was only thinking about covering the school's backside. The editor told him that the paper's policy was/is to print the story if it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. So, I checked the Chronicle for days - nothing. These suicides are not mentioned in the Chronicle when they happen. I guess the thinking here is: if we don't talk about it, it didn't happen and we don't have to do anything about it. I'm sure the GG Bridge Authority likes it that way.

DH overheard 2 people talking in a bookstore this morning. The topic was the kid who jumped and one of the people (a woman) was very upset, "I had no idea there were so many suicides on that bridge. I've never heard about it. I didn't realize people fly here from all over the world to jump."

I guess the campaign of silence and denial is working very nicely.


Jumper saved by surfer

My husband called me on his way home from work to tell me about a news story he had just heard: a student from Windsor, CA, was on a field trip with his class when he jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge this morning. A nearby surfer paddled over and pulled him out and he was alive.
I couldn't find a link in any of the online news sources at the time, only on a surfer forum (second link), since then, they have added a link to the local CBS station. Both stories are essentially the same. Apparently, the kid was not suicidal but jumped on a dare. He is being evaluated in one of the local hospitals and has a broken tailbone and torn lung. That last bit concerns me because I know that the lung damage is what is so serious. I do very much hope this kid will be okay.
If it really turns out to have been a dare, I really, really hope the person(s) responsible will be dealt with severely. That's just going way too far.
And, of course, the comments in the surfer forum are the usual dumb*** ones we saw when the barrier was first being discussed.
It really, really is time to install that net. How many more people have to die before it becomes a reality?



Another petition

There's yet another petition to be signed. This one is going to be submitted to Congress which is getting ready to re-authorize the National Transportation Bill. The petition (and all its signers) ask Congress to add an amendment that would allow state and local districts to ask for federal money to add physical barriers to bridges. This is not just about the Golden Gate Bridge, there are plenty of other suicide bridges in this country.


I recognize many of the signatures on this petition (I've been busy on Facebook and with email) and so have many of the other people who have lost a loved one to a suicide on the GGB. Your help in this will be greatly appreciated.


Wear Orange Day

Today is National Self-Injury Awareness Day and I'm letting somebody else explain what it's all about:


I have been aware of "cutters" for quite a while, I even know/knew somebody who did it, but I never paid terribly much attention to it until I learned that self-injury can be a warning sign for suicide. But self-injury rarely is the same as a suicide attempt.

The site I linked to gives information on why, how and what to do about it.