Suicide is something we can no longer ignore

Editor,

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. The statistics for various demographics, regardless of method, are all staggering. Deception Pass Bridge, one of Whidbey’s most scenic and gorgeous venues, is no stranger to suicidal individuals. Just last year, there was a report of a suicide featured in this very paper. The numbers in reports vary as to exactly how many people have jumped from the bridge, ranging everywhere from 250 to 400. Frankly, any number is too high, but there are preventable steps we can take to, at the very least, attempt to help those desperate individuals coming to the bridge as a last hope.

Most people know the old adage, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” which is incredibly minimizing and devaluing the issue as a whole. Those who seek to commit suicide are looking for a permanent solution, and dismissing their feelings as something like “a phase” is one of the most apathetic and invalidating approaches someone can take. While offering help does not give someone a permanent solution to all of their problems, it can lead to something that potentially can: hope.

The addition of signs or plaques with the National Suicide Hotline and other resources to locations on the bridge could give people a direct access line to others, anonymously and without judgement, people that only want to offer the help they deserve. I am well aware that mental health resources can be incredibly difficult to find, even afford for some, but a person can also feel too embarrassed to ask for help or feel like they have no one to turn too. There are even numbers people at risk can text if they’re not comfortable speaking with someone out of fear of judgement or persecution.

The signs may seem like a bleak sight for travelers looking for the perfect selfie spot, but we need to forget about ourselves for a moment and not ignore problems plaguing not only the nation, but also our very island. Suicide has personally affected my life and I’m willing to bet that it’s also affected someone you know, perhaps even yourself. This is something we can no longer ignore. The difference between putting forth the effort is, quite literally, a matter of life and death.

Rhianna McBride,

Langley

More in Letters to the Editor

The South Whidbey Yacht Club has a wide range of offerings

Editor, First of all, many thanks to reporter Patricia Guthrie for her… Continue reading

Letter: Before you judge someone, walk a mile in his or her shoes

Editor, It has come to my attention that there has been lots… Continue reading

Letter: Don’t blame Trump for the immigration system problems

Editor, I am amazed that some folks believe we should just open… Continue reading

Letter: Do we expect too much from police?

By Rufus Rose How much do we expect of our police? Perhaps,… Continue reading

Letter: Whidbey Institute’s July 1 open house was a total success

Editor, These times are filled with bad news — social justice atrocities,… Continue reading

Letter: Offer compassion and housing for the homeless

Editor, In response to Ms. Duggan’s letter to the editor June 23,… Continue reading

Letter: President Donald Trump the real problem, not illegal immigrants

Editor, We do not have an illegal immigration problem in this country,… Continue reading

Letter: Island Transit made right decision on bus fares; ‘free’ will benefit all

Editor, When Island Transit’s board decided to continue a policy of no… Continue reading

Letter: Consider the negative effects of the Growler expansion proposal

Editor, The Navy’s intention to increase Growler pilot training four-fold in Central… Continue reading

Most Read