SF Studies Bridge Jumpers, Ponders Barriers

New stats on Golden Gate suicides dispel copycat theory
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 31, 2007 2:48 PM CDT
SF Studies Bridge Jumpers, Ponders Barriers
A suicide prevention message adorns this beam of Golden Gate Bridge, contributing both to the prevention, and the mystique, of suicide stories on the landmark.   ((c) David Corby (User:Miskatonic) Wikimedia Commons)

After a decade of official silence about Golden Gate Bridge jumpers, San Francisco officials yesterday reversed course and released a study of  suicide statistics, the Chronicle reports.  Having seen a slight increase in suicides in recent years—three people jump each month—officials concluded that it was time to abandon the copycat theory.

The report shows men jump three times as often as women, and that—contrary to received wisdom—most jumpers are locals. Fully 76% of suicides are witnessed by bystanders. Over the bridge’s 70-year history, more than 1,250 people have taken their lives there. The study was released to raise awareness in advance of debate over installing anti-suicide barriers. (More suicide stories.)

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