Suicide bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A suicide bridge is a bridge used frequently by people to end their lives, most typically by jumping off and into the water or ground below. A fall from the height of a tall bridge into water may be fatal, although some people have survived jumps from high bridges such as the Golden Gate Bridge.[1] However, significant injury or death is far from certain; numerous studies report minimally injured persons who died from drowning.[2]

To reach such locations, those with the intention of ending their lives must often walk long distances to reach the point where they finally decide to jump. For example, some individuals have traveled over the 4.46-mile-long (7.18 km) San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge by car in order to jump from the Golden Gate Bridge.[3]


Suicide prevention advocates believe that suicide by bridge is more likely to be impulsive than other means, and that barriers can have a significant effect on reducing the incidence of suicides by bridge.[4] One study showed that installing barriers on the Duke Ellington Bridge in Washington, D.C.—which has a high incidence of suicide[5]—did not cause an increase of suicides at the nearby Taft Bridge.[6] A similar result was seen when barriers were erected on the popular suicide bridge: the Clifton Suspension Bridge, in the United Kingdom.[7] Families affected and groups that help the mentally ill have lobbied governments to erect similar barriers. One such barrier is the Luminous Veil on the Prince Edward Viaduct in Toronto, Canada, once considered North America's second deadliest bridge, with over 400 jumps on record.[8]

Special telephones with connections to crisis hotlines are sometimes installed on bridges.



Free telephones linked to suicide prevention hotline installed at the Story Bridge footpath in Brisbane
Suicide prevention barrier at the Story Bridge in Brisbane

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Mooney Mooney Bridge on the Central Coast (New South Wales), and the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne, Australia and the Story Bridge in Brisbane are considered suicide bridges.

Sydney Harbour Bridge has a suicide prevention barrier. In February 2009, following the murder of a four-year-old girl who was thrown off the bridge by her father, the first stage of a temporary suicide barrier was erected on Westgate Bridge, constructed of concrete crash barriers topped with a welded mesh fence. The permanent barrier has now been completed throughout the span of the bridge. The barriers are costed at AU$20 million and have been reported to have reduced suicide rates on the Westgate by 85%.[9]

Suicide prevention barriers were installed on the Story Bridge in 2013; a three-metre-high barrier runs the full length of both sides of the bridge.[10]


The Luminous Veil suicide barrier installed on Prince Edward Viaduct in Toronto

There are a number of suicide bridges in the Metro Vancouver area, the most frequented being the Lions Gate Bridge, which saw 324 suicidal incidents, including 78 jumps from 2006 to 2017.[2]

The High Level Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta, is considered a suicide bridge. It is unknown how many deaths have occurred at the bridge, but there have been at least 25 in total, with 10 being from 2012–2013. There have also been many failed attempts at the bridge. A suicide prevention barrier has been installed along with signage and support phone lines.[11]

The Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal, Quebec, is considered a suicide bridge. In 2004, a suicide prevention barrier was installed. Until then the bridge saw an average of 10 suicides a year.[12]

The Prince Edward Viaduct, commonly referred to as the Bloor Viaduct, in Toronto, Ontario, was considered a suicide bridge. With nearly 500 suicides by 2003, the Viaduct was ranked as the second most fatal standing structure in North America, after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.[13] Suicides dropped to zero after a barrier was completed in 2003.

The Lethbridge Viaduct in Lethbridge, Alberta, also known as the High Level Bridge, locally known as the Deathbridge[citation needed], is considered a suicide bridge. It is unknown how many deaths have occurred at the bridge since its opening in 1909. Suicide prevention signage has been installed at the entrance to the bridge, however no further prevention program is in development.[14]

The Angus L. Macdonald Bridge in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been used for suicide attempts.[15] As of 2010, safety barriers have been installed the full length of the pedestrian walkway.

The Burgoyne Bridge in St. Catharines, Ontario, has had several suicides. In 2020, stainless steel netting was installed as a suicide prevention measure.[16]

Czech Republic[edit]

About 300 people have jumped to their death from the Nusle Bridge, in Prague, Czech Republic.[17] Barriers almost 3 metres high were erected here in 1997 with the aim to prevent further jumps.[18] In 2007, the fencing was topped off with a 3-foot-wide strip (0.91 m) of polished metal to make it impossible to climb.[19]

The Sítenský most [cs] in Kladno has also been described as a suicide bridge and "second Nusle". Between 2013 and 2018, 23 suicides were attempted there. Because it is only 15 metres (49 ft) from the ground, attempts are not always successful, however the bridge is easy to access and there is no suicide barrier.[20]

South Africa[edit]

South Korea[edit]

As a suicide prevention initiative, signs on the Mapo Bridge display reassuring messages to potential suicide victims. The phrase on this particular handrail pictured reads: "The wind is really nice."
  • A frequently used suicide bridge in Seoul is the Mapo Bridge,[22][23] locally known as "Suicide Bridge" and "The Bridge of Death".[24][25][26][27][28][29][30] South Korean authorities have tried to counter this by calling the bridge "The Bridge of Life" and posting reassuring messages on the ledges.[31]

United Kingdom[edit]

  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1864. Since then, it has gained a reputation as a suicide bridge, with over 500 deaths from jumping. It has plaques that advertise the telephone number of Samaritans. In 1998, the bridge was fitted with suicide barriers, which halved the suicide rate in the years following.[32] CCTV is also installed on the bridge.
  • A notable suicide bridge in London is the Hornsey Lane Bridge,[33] which passes over Archway Road and connects the Highgate and Crouch End areas. The bridge provides views of notable landmarks such as St. Paul's Cathedral, The Gherkin and The Shard. It was the venue for mental illness campaign group Mad Pride's inaugural vigil in 2000[34] and was the subject of Johnny Burke's 2006 film The Bridge.[35] When, at the end of 2010, three men in three weeks died by suicide from jumping from the bridge, a campaign was set up by local residents for better anti-suicide measures to be put in place.[36] In October 2015 Islington Council and Haringey Council approved Transport for London's plans for the construction of a safety fence.[37] In summer 2019, Haringey Council installed additional measures to prevent suicide from the bridge in the form of a 3m high fence.[38]
  • At the Humber Bridge in Hull, more than 200 incidents of people jumping or falling from the bridge have taken place since its opening in 1981. Between 1990 and February 2001 the Humber Rescue Team was called 64 times to deal with people falling or jumping off the bridge.
  • Overtoun Bridge near Dumbarton in West Dunbartonshire has been publicised due to reports of dogs jumping or falling from the bridge.[39]

United States[edit]

As a suicide prevention initiative, signs on the Golden Gate Bridge promote special telephones that connect to a crisis hotline, as well as a 24/7 crisis text line.
Suicide hotline on the George Washington Memorial Bridge, Seattle, Washington.

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b Stephanian, D. |url = |title = Outcomes in suicidal bridge jumping in the Lower Mainland |date = December, 2019
  3. ^ Friend, Tad (October 13, 2003). "Jumpers: The fatal grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge". The New Yorker. Vol. 79, no. 30. p. 48.
  4. ^ "Draper" (PDF). 2008. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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  8. ^ Krauss, Clifford (2003-02-16). "A Veil of Deterrence for a Bridge With a Dark Side". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
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External links[edit]