Blog Assignment #7: The End

HY 3503 Suicide

As all things do, this too must come to an end.  The spring 2013 quarter is coming to a close and it is time to say our goodbyes.  It has been a very enlightening journey and I feel blessed that I got the opportunity to share all my wild discoveries with all of you.  I would like to thank you for going on this adventure with me though it was not a particularly happy or uplifting one, I hope you enjoyed it all the same.

HY 3503 ends the possibilityAt first when I chose to do my blog on the Golden Gate Bridge suicides it was really just curiosity more than anything that drove me to it.  I was desperate for answers and had to find out more about this tragic affair that has given the Bay Area of San Francisco such a darkened twist.  I expected that I would have a difficult time finding sources and other information to help provide evidence as well as give me a better understanding of the suicides and the jumpers.  However, once I started researching I found more information than I had ever thought possible.  But now I had a new question, how is it that there are all these occurrences of people committing suicide off of the Golden Gate Bridge and we still have people who are blissfully unaware.  I could not understand why I did not know more about the jumper problem on the bridge.  That is when I discovered that the problem was not about press on the subject, but the lack of awareness people have on the topic of suicide and the different components that factor into making that final fatal decision.  My overall goal for writing this blog is to lay out the stories and statistics of the jumpers in such a way that stresses their importance and most importantly prove that with this knowledge more people will join the fight for suicide prevention giving us a bigger voice to speak out and raise awareness on mental illnesses allowing us to save a life.

HY 3503 The more I began to research the more I began to realize that the issue is not about whether the citizens in the Bay Area care or not, but more about the lack of background knowledge that are unaware of that is causing these incidents to be disregarded and brushed off.  Starting out in my first post I explain that I have been paying attention and that the suicides are not going unnoticed by me.  I tell you that I plan on uncovering all the details behind them and answering all of the agonizing questions that leave us wondering and yearning to know more.  The second post discusses the approach that I chose to take to finding sources that could help me understand what message I wanted to convey to you all.  After I have set the basis for my topic, I start doing some digging and found that there is no specific time frame for my focus because these events have been occurring around thirty times each year since the opening of the bridge.  By the third post I had gathered up all of the evidence and history that I could find on the suicide occurrences and decided the direction I wanted to go with my message.  Once I have established all of my sources, I have a better grasp on the general reasons behind choosing the Golden Gate Bridge over any other location and I know roughly around what age and sex the jumpers are.  I go over the different options that have been discussed and debated over to help prevent others from taking that final leap over the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge and lead into how we can make some of those ideas a reality.  So in my forth post I was able to give you a momentous amount of information on those suicides through my interpretation of the statistics, prevention plans and stories of the jumpers through interviews with their loved ones.  This is when I started to provide you with more visual material by using a documentary clip, statistical graphs and charts, and pictures that gave you something to connect with.  These visual connections allowed me to bring up the different reasons behind why the jumper chooses this heartbreaking act.  It also led into my fifth post that actually addresses all of the tormenting questions that we undoubtedly face when thinking about suicide and those troubled individuals who cannot find any other way to escape their pain other than taking their own life.  Each situation is different it does vary from each individual jumper, but it has been revealed that one of the key causes behind suicide is mental illness.  And the lack of knowledge that we possess refrains us from being able to help them.  In my latest post, I dive into the serious issues concerning me as well as others fighting for suicide prevention and more mental health awareness.  I bring up the importance that lack of information and knowledge has on our everyday lives by unraveling a specific survivor’s story I bring the topic of mental health front and center.

HY 3503 Dont waitMy approach to this issue was to add something to the cause that has not previously been thought of.  I added blame to the bystanders who stand by oblivious to the tragedies going on right outside their front door.  I added a new perspective as someone whose roots are in the Bay Area as well as the deep southern dirt roads of Alabama.  My take on the suicide incidences off of the Golden Gate Bridge is we can do more to stop them from happening.  Alone we are small and our voices are drowned out by everyday life, but together we are mighty and can accomplish this goal.  But I added even more than that, by writing this blog I did one of the most important things you can do as a concerned citizen I investigated and relayed what I discovered to raise more awareness.  It is another article for people to read and learn more about the problems that some people are facing every day.  Spreading the word through any form of communication is my major contribution to these horrific situations.  By providing more people with the information and resources that they need so that they can take action against mental illness they are able to help those who suffer from it.  By acknowledging that there is a problem and joining together to fight against it we can win this battle and keep more of our friends, neighbors and loved ones safe from that fate.

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HY 3503 You are not alone

Bibliography

Bateson, John. The Final Leap. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.

Bulwa, Demian. “Golden Gate Bridge suicides up last year.” The San Francisco Chronicle. March 8, 2012. Accessed May 23, 2013. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Golden-Gate-Bridge-suicides-up-last-year-3390080.php#ixzz2U8UMiTRu

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. http://www.documentaryaddict.com/The+Golden+Gate+Bridge+Suicides-9258-documentary.html (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.

Hines, Kevin. “Kevin Hines Story.” The Kevin Hines Story. http://www.kevinhinesstory.com/ (Accessed May 23, 2013).

James, Scott. “A Year of Rising Suicides on Bridge and Tracks.” The New York Times. August 26, 2011. Accessed May 6, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/us/26bcjames.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

James, Vincent. “Golden Gate Bridge.” Photo. Allposters.com 16 Apr. 2013. <www.allposters.com>.

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. http://radiantwriting.hubpages.com/hub/The-Bridge-Suicide-on-the-Golden-Gate-Bridge (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.

Rafkin, Louise. “Survivor of bridge jump advocates for mental health, safety barrier.” The Bay Citizen. August 20, 2012. Accessed May 23, 2013. https://www.baycitizen.org/blogs/change-agents/survivor-bridge-jump-advocates-mental/

Reisman, William. “Golden Gate Bridge Suicides Again Top 30 Deaths in 2012.”The Examiner. January 10, 2013. Accessed April 22, 2013. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2013/01/golden-gate-bridge-suicides-again-top-30-2012#ixzz2RMIEqAdu

The Golden Gate Bridge Foundation. http://bridgerail.org/ (Accessed May 23, 2013).

Tweedie, Neil. “Golden Gate Bridge is the world’s most popular site for suicide: ‘Just why do they make it so easy?’.” Telegraph Media Group Limited. May 26, 2012. Accessed May 13, 2013. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/9289970/Golden-Gate-Bridge-is-the-worlds-most-popular-site-for-suicide-Just-why-do-they-make-it-so-easy.html

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