The anti-suicide signs on the Golden Gate Bridge

Many people have committed suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, and as a result there are now signs on the Bridge that read:
There is Hope
Make the Call
The consequences of jumping from this bridge are fatal and tragic.*
The idea is to give pause. I am not a psychologist or counselor, but IMHO, this wording might not be very effective. Depending on the person and circumstances, “tragic” might be exactly what they are looking for, or they may think “Death can’t be more tragic than what I’m already going through.”
I suggest instead:

There is Hope
Make the Call
The consequences of jumping from this bridge are permanent and irreversible.*
IMO, this is more likely to give a suicidal person pause - many people freeze for a moment when they contemplate a decision in “point of no return” terms. The fact that something is forever irreversible may be even greater deterrence than the fact that it is tragic. Also, by wording it as “permanent and irreversible,” it also takes into account the possibility that a suicidal jumper might not die, but rather, be maimed or disabled for life in the process. What do you think?

“Permanent and irreversible” is probably also what they’re looking for.

I would emphasize this a heck of a lot more. How about:

“Warning: Suicide success when jumping from this bridge is not guaranteed. A certain failure rate is to be expected. The bridge authorities take no responsibly for any permanent maiming, dismemberment or brain damage resulting from your failed suicide attempt.”

I think the government should stop meddling in our deaths.

There are many different things that could potentially have an effect of different people, depending on their state of mind. For some, it might be something harsh, like:

Jumping here is not be some dramatic and unique act that makes you special. It’s unoriginal and pathetic, and may make a nasty mess that people have to clean up. Now get a grip, go home, and figure out how to get revenge on those bastards that screwed you over.

If we have to choose just one, though, I’d go for:

What if the Buddhists are right, and you are just reincarnated in New Jersey?

Warning: Shark Infested Waters

You think asking someone to reconsider an impulse to commit suicide is “meddling in their death”? :dubious:

We decided that the “Anti-Suicide” net was too expensive.

This sign is much cheaper.

How about:

Interesting Facts About the Bridge
Before the bridge, the only way to connect SF and Marin was by ferry boat.
Since its opening in 1937, there have been 35 people who have jumped in suicide attempts
Only 21 were dead when we fished them out (Don’t ask about how we do that, or what the corpse looks like after we’re done).
Of the 14 who survived, most died within 48 hours. These people were severely injured.
7 of the 35 survived and were discharged from the hospital.
4 were missing arms and/or legs
1 had crippling spinal injuries and will never again walk.
2 had severe trauma to the brain and are little more than vegetables.

Want to Jump?
Do you feel lucky?

You realize that these numbers are off by two orders of magnitude, right?
Is there some reason that we’re trying to deceive potential jumpers about the true numbers?

“Warning: Cold water is likely to cause severe penile shrinkage. Jump survivors will be photographed, and the pictures posted on social media.”

One of those things that I shouldn’t have laughed at but did anyway.

The Coronado Bridge in San Diego, which is a couple hundred feet high to accommodate large sailboats, has suicide hotline signs every few dozen meters, or did when I was there about 10 years ago.

Excellent but morbid documentary about it, “The Bridge”. Includes interview with survivor, long lens slo-mo of splashes.

In one of his books about San Francisco, Herb Caen included the account of a poor soul named Fortunato Auguiano who figured in this topic. He seemed constantly depressed and had a psychotic obsession about even numbers. He insisted on living in a dwelling with an even number; where he worked he wanted to be paid in an even amount, even if it cost him a few pennies. And so on.
News had reached the restaurant where he worked, that the 99th person had jumped to his death off the Golden Gate Bridge. A coworker asked him, “Hey, Fortunato, did you see that? Here’s your chance to become an even number forever!”
Caen ended the matter with, “It was only a waterfront jibe. But on June 22, 1948–ah, all those nice even numbers–Fortunato Auguiano became the 100th person to jump to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge.” :frowning:

Japan goes a step or two farther. If a person commits suicide by stepping in front of the bullet train, his surviving family can be held financially liable for any losses sustained by the railroad or its passengers as a consequence of delays caused by the incident.

My wife was on an Amtrak train that was delayed three hours by a suicide on the tracks.

How about: Please jump late at night, so as not to upset the tourists.

They could also provide oversized garbage bags, and request that jumpers double-bag themselves for the sake of the people who have to dispose of the mess afterwards.

I wonder if an “Oath of Fealty” approach would work? For those who haven’t read the book, it revolves around an arcology built in the center of Los Angeles. The building is 1 mile square and 1/4 mile high. Knowing that it would attract jumpers from all over, they ring the edge with fencing, except in one section. There, they install a high-diving board. It actually seems to deter some. Those who still jump trigger a net that catches them so they can be turned over to authorities for treatment. That wouldn’t work on the Bridge, but maybe some sort of mind-shaker other than what they offer now.

I don’t quite understand. Is this presented to the public as an approved suicide method, i.e. the existence of the net is not revealed?

In 1997 I walked halfway across the bridge and my companion, who had been tasked by his thesis advisor to show me the sights of SF explained that there had been 998 suicides off the bridge and people were waiting from the 999th so they could be #1000. I assume it happened sometime after that.

My companion was pre-Google Sergey Brin.

Wow! Thank goodness you were there to keep Sergey’s spirits up when he was a struggling young entrepreneur. I would never have felt comfortable Asking Jeeves where to find porn, that guy’s so judgmental.