The Golden Gate Bridge in California is a passageway that connects Marin County with San Francisco and is widely recognized as an iconic structure, with beautiful views and inspiring architecture. Over the past several years, however, the bridge has also become one of the most utilized sites for suicide.
Throughout his 23 years of service, retired California highway patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs responded to hundreds of mental illness and suicide calls around the southern end of the bridge. In this TED Talk, he shares that out of all the individuals that he was directly involved with, he only lost two. But he believes that’s still two too many.
Suicide is a major public health concern, and the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15-34. But it is preventable. Briggs offers the following advice for loved ones to help someone that may be contemplating suicide:
“It’s not just the talking that you do; listen to understand. By just being there, you might be the turning point that they need.”
We can all make a difference in someone’s life by knowing what to look for and how to help. If you know a child or young adult struggling with depression or experiencing thoughts of self-harm, contact our psychiatric hospitals at (913) 890-7468, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).