Why does NYU’s library have “no jumping” barriers on upper levels?
Why does a transportation bill make the Golden Gate Bridge eligible for a net barrier below it?
Golden Gate Suicides:
While the ‘luminous veil’ was being constructed on the Prince Edward Viaduct (Toronto) 60 more suicides occurred.
Estimated 400 jumps in all.
A million people take their lives each year.
2000 = 30,000 suicides
2010 = 38,364
Suicide exceeds murder as the leading cause of death worldwide.
For College Students:
Suicide is #2 killer
(homicide is #3)
1/100 students attempts suicide
Males students twice as likely to commit suicide than females
(But >25, males and females commit suicide at the same rate)
Particularly at risk:
Older students, commuter students, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and international students
Those who drink 3 or more times a week:
4% seriously contemplate suicide
1.2% attempt suicide
More Physical Barriers
We live in an era of broad access to mental healthcare and pills:
1/10 Americans are on anti-depressants
Most prescribed group:
1/4 women aged 50-64
But suicides are on the rise
We need conceptual barriers, not just physical barriers.
Popular Argumentation Has Ignored Any But Christian Arguments Against Suicide
Socrates’ suicide: Man may commit suicide when compelled by the gods.
Suicide is prevalent in 13/32 extant Greek Tragedies.
Old Testament: Samson, after being imprisoned by the Philistines. A prayer is answered, and Samson knocks down a pillar, collapsing the temple onto the heathens and himself.
Lucretia’s suicide = The act that began the Roman Republic
Ancient Rome: White collar criminals allowed to return to family and commit suicide within a day.
18th century – David Hume. Suicide is a reasonable escape from misery.
313 AD-Augustine of Hippo argued against suicide to distinguish Christians from ancient Greece and Rome
13th century – Thomas Aquinas. Suicide is cruel to the community, oneself, and God ordained against it.
A secular solution: Without life, there is no meaning.
“If suicide is allowed then everything is allowed. If anything is not allowed then suicide is not allowed. This throws a light on the nature of ethics, for suicide is, so to speak, the elementary sin.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Notebooks
The Fallout: Suicide Hurts Those Around You
7,000- 12,000 children lose their parents to suicide every year
Child with both parents alive ’til 18
Child whose parent commits suicide
(3x likelier to commit suicide)
The first suicide in a region normalizes the idea…
Making others think it’s an okay route
Even media coverage of suicide can increase suicide in a region.
Guide to Better Days:
Rejecting suicidal thoughts saves others around you.
Traits of depression:
Dejection, gloominess, critical, brooding, judgmental, pessimistic, guilty
–> (commonality): Feels like things will never change.
Most suicides are the result of impulsivity.
Things Do Change
Of 515 people stopped from jumping off Golden Gate Bridge
94% were alive of died of natural causes 25 years later
With many admitting the act was on impulse.
To be or not to be shouldn’t be the misguided act of an instant.