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Valentine's Day Angels: Patrolling the Golden Gate to help save lives

Original post made on Feb 9, 2017

A day that is for many a chance to celebrate love and affection is for others a difficult one that can bring on feelings of loneliness, isolation and despair.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 9, 2017, 4:21 PM

Comments (11)

7 people like this
Posted by Rebecca
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm

WOW!! What an awesome group of people, to not only do this kind of volunteer work, but to give up a holiday and/or take a day off from work in order to do it. And how wonderful that its founder is from right here in Pleasanton, and a Lieutenant in our Police Department! This whole article, even with its very sad subject matter, was a very interesting read and has left me with a big case of the Warm & Fuzzies. Thank you!

7 people like this
Posted by Karen
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Thank you for this heartwarming article about the Bridgewatch Angels. Bringing attention to the topic of suicide and talking openly about it will help to de-stigmatize mental illness and, in doing so, may save the lives of some who are suffering.

5 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 10, 2017 at 10:34 am

Great article. I can't help but wonder though, whether someone truly intent upon committing suicide, will simply find a different way to do it if they can't "successfully" jump from the bridge anymore. anyone got any thoughts on this?

6 people like this
Posted by Diane munayer
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Thank you for your generous service. Thank you to all the families who willingly share their family members on special Holidays. God bless you all.

7 people like this
Posted by Dayna
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Dan, often that is what many people think - they will find another way. We have been told that for decades.
There are studies that document when an individual becomes fixated on a method, they go from thought to action in less than an hour. Given time, the impulse to die diminishes.

For many methods the lethality is not significant. Where this bridge is 98% lethal for every attempt and guns are 95% lethal, poison/overdoses are about 8%. (This is for SanFrancisco area - each area is different). With ODs, the person has the time to realize they don’t want to die, they just want their pain to go away. They call for help - hence the reason it is less lethal.

That is what the crisis of suicide is about - wanting to end their pain, feeling they have no options, and thinking there is no pain when you are dead. So I am one who would plead that they try another method, because they have a better chance at survival.

2 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2017 at 9:39 pm

The author should have raised that issue in the article. About people intent on committing suicide finding a different place to do it if they can't jump from the bridge. And if they don't do that, why not. Otherwise it was a good and interesting andddd informative article.

5 people like this
Posted by Dorothy Paugh
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 11, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Dan and Charles,

Most suicidal folks who are thwarted in the attempt will not just find another way to die, they'll find a way to live. You can find a 2-minute video summary of 40 years of scientific research by going to the Bridge Rail Foundation's website click on the tab "Lives Can Be Saved then "What Science Tells Us". Keeping guns and toxic pills locked up if someone you live with is distraught also saves lives. Any obstacle or delay allows time for second thoughts and help to intervene.

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Posted by mike
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2017 at 1:32 am

whats stopping people from jumping off the new portion of the Bay Bridge?

2 people like this
Posted by Nancy Lewis
a resident of Old Towne
on Mar 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Hi Mike. I am the author of this article and had the same exact thought as you while I was doing my research for the article. Basically, while there is nothing to prevent someone from jumping off the Bay Bridge, there are a few reasons why suicidal people are not very likely to do. The bridge deck of the Golden Gate Bridge at the highest spot a jumper can access is 245 feet from the water--statistically, only 2% of people can survive that impact of a jump from this height, whereas a person who jumps from the Bay Bridge faces a drop of "only" 120-150 feet; there is a much higher probability of survival from a jump of that height and in fact, it has already happened. The Bay Bridge also does not have the same iconic, international stature that the Golden Gate has. It also doesn't have a parking lot on both sides the way the GGB does, so it's harder to get to as a "suicide destination". For all of those reasons, it's much less of a "draw", and like Dorothy (who commented above) said, legitimate studies show that someone who is deterred from jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge (by a suicide barrier) will not just go find "some other bridge" to jump off of. When given time to reflect and contemplate and get help, the "impulse" to jump, and the desire to die, often dissipate or go away entirely.

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Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


My brother was wounded in Vietnam, He was returned to the states, housed in Veterans hospital where my sister visited him. She said that she has never experienced seeing such fine young men totally wasted with missing limbs, etc.

My brother wondered onto the grounds at the hospital and hung himself. I tend to think taking ones own life has to require courage. To not have that courage would be more diminishing for that person. To be a lessor value.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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