Suicide Hotspots: The Tragedy of Putting a Price on Life

Me and suicide have a thing, it’s like an old friendship- you know, like the people you haven’t spoken to in years but can still strike up a conversation with when the occasion calls me it- we’re not afraid of each other or awkward in the other’s presence, we just get on.

I had my fourth attempt just over a year ago and since I recovered from that I’ve had a fascination with suicide hotspots- these are landmarks and/or public places that are commonly used by people to end their lives. Some famous examples are the Golden Gate Bridge, Beachy Head and the Humber Bridge.

There is a lot of argument and several contradicting studies looking into the effect of various suicide prevention measures such as fences or patrol teams in stopping people from ending their lives at these spots. For me it doesn’t really matter, speaking as someone who’s tried to take their life on several occasions I believe that things like barriers would generally be helpful- in fact, in my opinion, the best thing that could be done in places like these is to have dedicated patrol teams. I think that this would massively reduce the suicide rate in these places. Suicide generally happens when pain exceeds our ability to cope with pain, having someone around to offer support makes the world of difference. (To read a really heartwarming story click here.)

As a case study I’m going to look at the Golden Gate Bridge- which is the top suicide hotspot in the world with 1,500 suicides having been committed there, that’s roughly once every two weeks.

This bridge doesn’t have barriers… why? Because they’d be too expensive and too ugly.

This is the sort of thing that really riles me, the idea that we are essentially putting a price on life- or, even worse- letting our vanity stop us from empathising. This just should notbe happening, it just should not be a problem in our modern ‘advanced’ society.

It amazes me how our government here in the UK can plough millions into pointless pride contests like the Olympics (no disrespect to any athletes, I couldn’t do what they do so I’ll refrain from ragging them out) and yet not have enough money for barriers on notorious bridges in the UK or suicide patrols in hotspots. Fuck you! This modern world that we live in has truly screwed up priorities.

Some of you sat reading this may be thinking: but these people choose to end their lives- why should we even try to stop them?

The answer is very simple. I believe that 99% of people who kill themselves do not want to die. They just can’t think of anything else to do to end the unbearable pain that they’re feeling. They don’t want to die- they just don’t want to live.

Add into the mix people like me who suffer from delusions- I tried to jump off a bloody roof because there were ‘Angels’ surrounding me and telling me that they wanted me to fly with them. I didn’t want to die, not at all, I was confused and bewildered and I only tried to do what I believed was right.

If you live near and suicide hotspot please think about what you can do to help- whether that be donating to buy a barrier or joining a patrol as a volunteer, everyone can make a difference, it’s just about simple human compassion- something that seems sadly undervalued in our society.

If you’re feeling suicidal then please check out these numbers and websites:

Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 in the UK and Northern Ireland or 1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland.

Internation Suicide Hotline

Befrienders Worldwide

If you’re still thinking of suicide then please read this or even email me at ‘wrensaille@gmail.com’ if you need to talk.

Thanks for reading,

Wren x

 

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8 thoughts on “Suicide Hotspots: The Tragedy of Putting a Price on Life

  1. I recall feeling pretty low when the guy I lost my virginity to used me and broke my heart. I thought about ending it all, fearing that I was worthless and that no one would actually love me. I would of slit my wrists, but I was lucky that my foster mother intervienned when the school noticed my self-harming issues and called her. Don’t ever suffer alone, that’s the worst thing you can do. Get help, before it’s too late. trust me, I’ve been in that dark place, like Wren, but we can all get out of it, no matter how fast or slow. Thanks for sharing this Wren, much appreciated xxx

  2. I’ve been close to suicide… too often. There’s a whole list of “the most frustrating thing”s about people’s attitude towards suicide (from telling you that you are wrong for feeling the way that you do to the stigma, or at least in my case :/). We don’t really have suicide hotspots down this end, or at least no one would talk about such a thing. Anyway, this is a really wonderful article. 🙂
    Thank you for writing this. 🙂
    Rowan
    x~x

    • I completely agree, suicide is such a difficult thing to explain to people who haven’t been there, I don’t know of any hotspots near where I live either, but I think there will be a few- they tend to be high places or remote car parks and I live in Yorkshire, which is hilly and remote!
      Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate it 🙂
      Wren x

  3. Every act of human compassion helps. For instance your comment and your blog have made me that much stronger in my battle.

    Our society is built upon vanity and invalidation. We should not be suicidal. We should not feel this way. We should want to live. Yet, for some of us this IS our reality.

    As my therapist tells me, we need to stop “shoulding” on ourselves.

  4. Pingback: Olympic Thoughts | The Druid Bird

  5. This is a touching article Wren! I can certainly agree with you that people need others for comfort and reassurance. After all, we are human beings and compassion is in our nature.

    I usually don’t blog, but this topic it very interesting; specifically the psyche behind suicides. I want to first start off in saying that I approached this article strictly as a student. Throughout my entire life I have been told to challenge things; and In return, comes even greater knowledge.

    So I begin: I want to start off with a quote by Immanuel Kant: “He who contemplates suicide should ask himself whether his action can be consistent with the idea of humanity as an end in itself.” Here, Kant argues that choosing to commit suicide entails considering oneself as a means to an end. Through a utilitarian perspective, the later can only be deemed illogical. When one suffers or is in pain, why destroy life? This is not a pragmatic nor an idealistic approach, rather a senseless act without any forethought. There are billions of people on this earth that can potentially help. There is no reason why one should be lonely (Loneliness is self made).

    Most people in these types of blogs always respond “you don’t understand until you experience it yourself”, but the truth is; I don’t have to experience it to understand. Pain and suffering is normal for us humans and can be maintained at a sustainable level. Wren, you stated that people don’t want to kill themselves, but rather they just don’t want to live. In response; our sole purpose as humans is to live. Any deviation of the latter is unattainable, because we would fail to exist.

    Overall I want to make it known that my religion/political views do not factor into this post, rather my pragmatic intuition took over. As a message to those who might be vulnerable to suicide, please reach out for help. LIVE! LOVE! LIFE!.

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 as an ex philosophy student I found it rather refreshing to hear a bit of Kant- I’ve never considered suicide from that point of view before and I think the points you make are very interesting. To clarify one of my points, when I said ‘people don’t want to kill themselves, they just don’t want to live’ I meant that the pain of living was too much for them to bear and therefore the only way out was death.
      Thanks again, I really appreciate hearing different points of view- especially on such a contraversial and difficult topic!
      Wren x

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