|The Bridge - sunday 2009-06-21 1237||last modified 2009-06-21 1341|
|TrackBacks Sent: None|
I watched The Bridge, a documentary consisting of interviews with the loved ones of those who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in one calendar year. While the obvious solution to the immediate problem is to introduce a suicide barrier of some sort - something the bridge directors finally voted to do late last year - I have to wonder whether removing one tool from the set is going to have much of an impact. The spur of the moment crowd doesn't seem to be very large; the interviews all reveal long, troubled histories of mental illness. If the bridge is no longer available to them, they'll do their research and go somewhere else without barriers. What if no barriers were built and a permanent prevention squad was introduced? If so many suicidal people make a pilgrimage to the bridge, isn't it a rather rare opportunity to address the problem in one central place? The other question - with the bridge so accessible to Bay Area residents, how does it compare to their metropolitan suicide statistics? Will the net change them at all?
The documentary also reveals how poorly equipped our society is to deal with mental illness, and even what deep social animosity there is to those who can't function "normally." While one goal of the documentary is clearly to get a barrier built to prevent such horror, the other intent is to get people to notice one another. In one harrowing scene, a photographer bodily pulls a young woman back over the railing. It's set up in such a way as to make you think he's going to keep shooting while she jumps.
I am not a large media outlet, so I don't mind contravening the media ban on mentioning the tally. Based on reports of higher numbers in the past couple of years, the total is probably near 1350 over several decades. Build the barrier. Increase awareness.
You must login to leave a comment