Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Facts and Myths About Suicide

There are many resources out there in today's world. Here is just one article with facts and myths about suicide that I found in less than 5 minutes of searching...http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20507781,00.html 

I think it's important for people, especially in the days of social media to do some research before getting on the internet and stating things as facts when they are either completely wrong or just opinions. 

Suicide is one of the things that is so often stereotyped, and that is hurting people not helping them.

 For example, saying that all suicides are caused by clinical depression is wrong, it also makes people afraid to admit they have thought about it, or gone through a rough patch.

 The only fact about suicide is that when people do it they are doing it for one reason, and that is,  a way out, that's it. A way out of pain, a way out of a situation, a way out of a life they don't want.

 It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and while yes, some suicides are caused by mental illness, not all of them are.

If you are feeling suicidal PLEASE get help, if someone judges you, go to someone else. You are NOT alone, and people do understand and people will be there for you. 

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

If you know someone who is struggling, instead of telling them that they are mentally ill, listen to them and then share links or numbers to someone who can help. If you are not a trained suicide specialist/therapist, know that you can't save them, you need help, they need help. Be careful of telling them that they are clinically "depressed" or "bi-polar" or anything like that. 

I recently had a discussion with someone on Facebook who was saying on her page as FACT that everyone who has even thought about it is mentally ill. That is a problem, because it's not true. She sent me private messages saying that she has the right to her opinion, and while that may be true, what if she just made a statement that lead someone to hurt themself because they were just told that they have a mental illness? They may, but they may not. It's dangerous to claim opinions as fact especially if you aren't trained. 

As well, if you have a mental illness, that does not mean that everyone else does. Yes, it's great if you want to share your experiences to help others, but also know that not everyone has the same thing. 

The only facts are that some people who commit/ or attempt suicide have a mental illness and some don't. 

Please think before you judge others, especially those in need. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

AT LAST: *Press Release* RFP to Construct Suicide Deterrent on the Golden Gate Bridge‏

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District requests proposals from qualified bidders to construct a suicide deterrent on the Golden Gate Bridge.  The details of the RFP may be found here:http://goldengate.org/contracts/documents/2016-b-01-notice.pdf
 
“This is an important and vital step in building the suicide deterrent,” says Chief Engineer Ewa Bauer.  “We have been in the planning and design phase of the project for several years, with a lot of work happening behind the scenes.  Today signals a change to the construction phase.  We are all eager to put this deterrent in place and diminish future tragedy from suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge.”
 
The bid process will take several months to complete.  Interested bidders must sign a non-disclosure agreement, submit identification for background checks, and tour the property with District staff.  After the pre-bid, information gathering time passes, the District will begin accepting bids in January.  The District will vet vendors based on several factors, including past work experience, current staffing, compliance with DBE and other regulatory programs, cost.  Per state regulations, this construction project will be awarded to the qualified vendor with the lowest bid. The bid will be awarded in the spring of 2016, following approvals of the selected vendor by CalTrans, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Bridge District’s Board of Directors.
 
The suicide deterrent design is a long, stainless steel net along the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, on both sides.  The cantilevered net will be located about 20 feet down from the Bridge sidewalk, extending out 20 feet, with a slight upturn at the outside edge.  The net is not soft, but rather, will be made of very hard and durable metal.  Anyone jumping into the net is likely to experience the sort of significant injury expected from falling two stories onto a steel platform.  Since such nets have been installed in various locations over the past decade, they have been very successful in preventing suicide attempts. 
 
The steel net and its supports will be manufactured off-site.  The public will begin to see installation activity in late 2017.  The contractor will install the net first along the east side of the Golden Gate Bridge and then the west side. The project is expected to take three-and-a-half to four years.
 
The Golden Gate Bridge suicide deterrent project is expected to cost at least $76 million, with $22 million through federal Local Highway Bridge Program (HBP) funds programmed by CalTrans, $27 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds (STP) programmed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), $7 million of California State Mental Service Health Act Funds (Proposition 63), and $20 million from Bridge District reserves.
 
Here are some renderings to show what the suicide deterrent will look like, from two vantage points.  Please cite Courtesy of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in your use of these images.