One of the most defining aspects of my personality, in my opinion, is that I either care too much or not enough. My coping strategy is to get super grumpy about issues, pedantic or otherwise.
I’ve written a lot about health, particularly mental health. The importance of maintaining good health, the frustration and aggravation that goes along with having a bad immune system and a flawed body/mind because of this.
This morning, I was drinking my coffee and scanning news articles for interesting bits of info. I’m not great at sitting down and reading news articles, but I am pretty skilled in finding things to pick apart.
That’s when I came across this article: Golden Gate Bridge Board Approves Funding for Suicide Barrier. Here’s how I imagine this came about.
Politician 1: We have GOT to do something about this suicide issue. People just keep jumping off the bridge. It’s an epidemic.
Politician 2: Here’s the funding we could get for the project. We can spend it in any way to decrease the number of deaths each year.
Politician 3: I know! We can increase awareness for mental health. We can create ads, increase our budget for psychological counseling and mental health both at the academic and community level.
Politician 4: Nah, that sounds complicated. Let’s just build a barrier. We can put the least amount of effort in possible. This way, people can still kill themselves, but they won’t do it on the bridge.
Politician 3: The bridge has been around since 1937. It’s gorgeous. Building a barrier will change the entire look!
Politician 1: Yeah, but people have started calling it “the bridge of death.”
Politician 3: Who calls it that?
Politician 2: Certain family members of people who have jumped and those that may have witnessed it.
Politician 1: It’s settled. We will build this ugly barrier to avoid people thinking of the bridge as a way out. They may still try to kill themselves, but at least it will happen in other, less public ways. We’ll just make it more difficult to do it on a bridge.
To me, there is a missed opportunity here to help promote good mental help, to get those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts/attempts the help they need, and a way to change society for the better.
Who the fuck calls it the bridge of death? I used to live outside San Francisco, and that bridge is beautiful. I recall chewing gum and blowing my first bubble in the car on the way home while we drove over that bridge.
On the other hand, I never witnessed anyone killing themselves on the bridge. I guess that would make it considerably less beautiful.