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The Dark Side of the Bridge.

Emergency Phone, Golden Gate Bridge

An SFGate.com article written by KTUV News anchor, Frank Somerville, yesterday described his New Years Day – walking the Golden Gate Bridge with a group of volunteers called Bridgewatch Angels. Together, they patrolled the bridge looking for people who might be contemplating suicide.

Since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, there have been over 1,700 confirmed suicides on the bridge. In 2015 alone, 37 people jumped to their deaths. On the positive side, 162 other people were stopped from taking their lives last year, by Bridge Patrol officers and the CHP (California Highway Patrol).

Although some of the signs for which folks patrolling the bridge watch are “bridge-specific,” other signs of impending suicide are more general – things that we might try to notice in our friends and family. SFGate lists the specific signs as:

-Anyone alone on the bridge

-Standing/Sitting in one spot for long periods of time

 -Poor body posture

-Disheveled appearance or clothing inappropriate for weather

-1000 yard stare or “coast to coast” head turning

-Pacing back and forth or walking back and forth mid-span

-Switch directions of travel for no apparent reason

-Placing personal effects on the ground

-Abnormal reaction to your presence (avoiding you when greeted)

-Irritable, nervous, or anxious

-Walking too fast, slow shuffle, running (not in athletic attire)

-Physically angry (shaking fists, yelling at no one)

-Visibly distraught and crying

-Chain smoking

-Texting, talking, or writing a note/writing on rail

-Wallet or personal effects in plastic bag

We can all be more aware. We may even help to save a life.

-Bill at

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