WaPo – Suicide jumps off city bridge upset witnesses

A bridge in Seattle is becoming hazardous to the mental health of the dot-com employees and other office workers below, who keep seeing people jump to their deaths from the span.

Thirty-nine people during the past decade have committed suicide off the 155-foot-high Aurora Bridge — eight last year alone — and counselors are regularly brought in to help office workers deal with the shock of seeing the leap or the bloody aftermath.

That bridge, that side of it specifically, is probably rather better known for the troll.

At least one woman, Sarah Edwards, drives on the left side of the street near her office ever since a body landed on the hood of a co-worker’s car. …

Some jumpers hit the water, others land on the pavement or solid ground. Either way, they almost always die. (One person is said to have survived after landing in the water.)

The neighborhood beneath the bridge used to be docks and warehouses, and the suicides went largely unnoticed. But during the technology boom of the past two decades, it morphed into a trendy area full of office buildings, shops and restaurants, and the bodies began to fall where people could see them.

I always knew people in this city were miserable. Look at their politics.

In my History of Japan class we went off on a tangent about the Japanese attitude to suicide (short version: it’s different than ours) and chuckled over the quaintly Japanese way they put signs reading “Stop! Think! You have something to live for!” and the like near popular jumping points.

A few weeks ago, officials installed six emergency phones and 18 signs that read, “Suicidal?” and give the number of a 24-hour crisis line in bold yellow type.

Uh huh.

Curtsy: Wheat & Weeds.