Blog Assignment #4: Get Out There!

HY 3503 Suicide is 100% preventable

For my blog this week I got to watch a movie/documentary and search through loads of statistics on the Golden Gate Bridge suicides.  So I am warning you in advance that this blog is going to be a little more graphic and disturbing than my previous ones.  As I stated in my last post I find it hard to truly differentiate between primary and secondary sources for this particular topic.  However, by watching these video clips and analyzing the statistics and data I found I discovered plenty of information and great stuff to add to my blogs.  The majority of my sources were found online, but I have found some books and even purchased the film The Bridge that I touched on in my last post.

I started by using the CSUEB library website and once I was convinced that I had found all the useful and relevant information, I turned my

Suicide prevention message on the Golden Gate ...

Suicide prevention message on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

search to Google where I found a number of reputable online newspaper articles, charts and other statistical information that I plan to incorporate in my research for this blog.  Some primary sources that I have uncovered include newspaper articles from papers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post as well as a news report from Fox News that aired just last week!  Other primary sources that I have found are two article/testimony/interview/ from Kevin Hines, a person who jumped and lived to tell about it and is now a major advocate for suicide prevention the safety net barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge.  I have also been lucky enough to find some secondary sources as well like; an article by the Telegraph Media Group, an article written by a junior doctor, and a website designed by a suicide prevention organization.  But what I am most excited about is my discovery of a book, The Final Leap written by John Bateson just last year about the Golden Gate Bridge and its infamous suicide jumpers.

I have not yet been able to dissect each one of them, but I have skimmed through The Final Leap and read the online newspaper articles and news report from Fox News.  I plan on using these sources to give my readers more insight into the issue we are facing with bridge jumpers.  I realize that it ultimately comes down to that one persons’ private decision, but I feel that if more people are aware of the situation and knowledgeable in that area then we can get more people involved, raise awareness, and hopefully that will help to lower the suicides off of the Golden Gate Bridge.

While doing my research, I also learned more interesting things about the background of the Golden Gate Bridge and how the bulk of it was built by Chinamen and other minority groups.  According to Camarillo in his article Cities of Color: The New Racial Frontier in California’s Minority-Majority Cities those minorities are turning into the majority and steadily increasing and it credited mainly to the historical developments that once defined California’s “cities of color”[1] as a set-back or inconvenience.  “In many ways, the rapidly emerging minority-majority cities and suburbs represent old patterns (i.e., the long history of neighborhood change as established groups move out and are replaced by newer groups) with new twists, but they also reflect altogether new patterns in urban history.”[2]  Over the years history has proven to repeat itself and teach us a lesson.  That is why we study it and regard it so attentively because we hope to come up with a different result this time around.

Camarillo’s approach to his article reminded me a lot of the approach Eric Steel when making the film The Bridge.  They both were very efficient

Cover of "The Bridge"

Cover of The Bridge

in collecting a lot of oral interviews in supporting their evidence.  Eric Steel obviously had a number of people contributing to the success of his documentary such as the cinematographers and music supervisors, but his job was to mesh those all together to relay a message to the rest of the world that was not holding enough weight.  His message was not only for the depressed or mentally ill people contemplating suicide, but for those who are innocent by standers as well as loved ones in this tragedy ridden decision.  By purchasing the DVD instead of strictly watching it online (like the post I have on my page) I was able to see the DVD extras which provided me with even more information about the jumpers and the process and approach that they took while creating this documentary.  He gave detailed accounts of several different suicides that occurred on the Golden Gate Bridge up to that date and told them in a way that people could relate.  He showed footage from the bridge of people jumping, interviews with friends and family members and each one of those circumstances were different from the others.  Some were mentally unstable and the people close to them were not at all surprised by the news of their loved one jumping from the bridge, others were blown away by the news, some were foiled in their attempt to end their life, one even realized as soon as he let go that he did not want to die and he managed to survive the impact.  Most of these instances did relate back to a mental disease of some kind, but that is not always the case.  People choose suicide as an escape from their life and sometimes the reasons behind the struggles that person are not as simple as black and white.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The Bridge Documentary<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The statistics, charts and other data that I discovered was also found online on a website/hub sort of blog by a girl named R.J. Lynch.  In her article she provides you with a number of charts, videos and pictures and really just showed me up.  So I decided to incorporate more of these things into my blog as well and step it up a little and add some charts, videos and pictures of my own.  This particular source did give me some good information, but it really acted as a guide to what I my work really should look like.  So I mainly used her page as inspiration as well as a good source for finding efficient charts and statistics which I was having some trouble with before I stumbled upon this page.  This particular person has written two articles that relate to my topic choice and I have been able to read them over and derive my argument and overall main thesis from the information that I collected from there as well as support other evidence that I have found through other sources while on my journey to save the world one blog post at a time.  I apologize for the small print on the charts.  I was unable to make them any bigger on my blog post for some reason.  The chart on the left discussing the different locations that people commit suicide and how bridges are usually the prime location for suicides, the chart on the right is taken from studies by the San Francisco Chronicle and it goes over the suicide rates from the beginning when the bridge was first built in 1937 until 2005, and the bottom graph is another suicides by location but this chart shows the locations on the Golden Gate Bridge specifically and it is also created by the San Francisco Chronicle.

HY 3503 Suicides by location 2 HY 3503 Statistics HY 3503 Suicides by location



Camarillo, Albert M. “Cities of Color: The New Racial Frontier in California’s Minority-Majority Cities.” Pacific Historical Review. Volume 76, no. 1 (2007): 1-28.

Documentary Addict. “The Bridge.” Documentary Addict: Watch Documentaries Online. Videofile. (accessed May 11, 2013).

Fussell, Jenna, and Maggie C. Louie. “Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County Suicide Statistics.” Bios. Vol. 79, No. 4 (2008): 171-178.

James, Scott. “A Year of Rising Suicides on Bridge and Tracks.” The New York Times. August 26, 2011. Accessed May 6, 2013.

James, Vincent. “Golden Gate Bridge.” Photo. 16 Apr. 2013. <>.

Kyvig, David E., and Myron A. Marty. Nearby History: Exploring the Past around You. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

Lynch, R.J. “The Bridge: Suicide and the Golden Gate Bridge.” Radiant Writing Blog. Entry posted March 25, 2013. (accessed 13 May 2013).

McCandless, Peter, Sabine Krayenbuhl, Alex Heffes, Christopher Covert, Jim Black, Margaret Crimmins, Greg Smith, Alison Palmer Bourke and Evan Shapiro. The Bridge. DVD. Produced and directed by Eric Steel. Port Washington, NY: Easy There Tiger, Inc., 2006.

Plotts, S. G. “Suicide in San Francisco.” British Medical Journal. Vol. 285, No. 6336, 1982: 189-199.

Reisman, William. “Golden Gate Bridge Suicides Again Top 30 Deaths in 2012.”The Examiner. January 10, 2013. Accessed April 22, 2013.

End Notes

[1] Camarillo, “Cities of Color: The New Racial Frontier in California’s Minority-Majority Cities”

[2] Ibid


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s