Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 12:19 am | Overcast 59º


Letter to the Editor: Suicide-Prevention Barrier Removes Easy Access — and That’s the Point

First, may I say, for those who are concerned about the aesthetics of Cold Spring Canyon Bridge, as outlined in Noozhawk’s four-day series, if you are enjoying the scenery while driving across the bridge, chances are you are not driving safely.

Those who oppose the barrier, I expect, have no real experience with suicide, either an attempt themselves or by a close friend or relative. If they did, they would know that suicide is an act very much tied to the present moment. Moments filled with complete despair, utter hopelessness and pain. Moments where every connection to anyone or anything in their life is severed.

If they have lost someone to suicide, they would know the personal pain, filled with those things they feel they might have done to prevent it. I hope and pray that those who so ardently oppose the barrier never lose a loved one off that bridge because that barrier wasn’t there.

The reason there are not more suicide attempts than there are may be because most methods are iffy. Be it rope, gun, knife, poison or overdose, too many times one wakes up, often crippled but still alive. The Cold Spring Canyon Bridge is, unfortunately, absolutely foolproof as a means of taking one’s own life. Besides it’s 100 percent success rate, it is even aided and abetted by a small sign at the bridge that says No Loitering. (If you are going to jump, don’t stop to think about it, just jump.)

The barrier would definitely remove that easy, certain opportunity and maybe, just maybe, those who are seriously considering suicide will get the help they need to put them on a better path.

Tony Johansen
Santa Barbara

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