SOLOMONS, Md. -– Since last October, there have been two known incidents of people jumping from the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. These incidents have taken a significant toll on the St. Mary’s County and Calvert County communities, brought together by this one spot. Now, the communities are coming together to petition for netting around the bridge.
“The communities of St. Mary’s County and Calvert County in Maryland have been repeatedly devastated by the loss of life on Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. By installing netting along the sides of the bridge, the number of deaths by suicide would be drastically reduced down to zero,” the petition organizer said in a statement. “Just one loss of life is one too many,”
The organizers used the example of the Golden Gate Bridge. After being constructed, the Golden Gate Bridge had over 1,600 confirmed deaths by suicide, according to the organizers. After installing a preventive net in 2018, only 20 people have died by suicide every year by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Although it might seem lofty for the number to reduce to zero, it is clear that a preventive net has helped save lives in other cases.
“No family should experience the loss of a loved one from suicide. The simple act of installing a net could save a family from experiencing a tragedy,” Delegate Brian Crosby said in a Facebook post supporting the petition.
For everyone that is in favor of a preventive net, you can find the petition by clicking here.
If you know someone in a crisis, you can direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
You can call them at 1-800-273-8255 or text HELLO to 741741, which is the Crisis Text Line. Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential.
For more information, check out the official website for the National Institute of Mental Health.