About 1,500 people have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge during its 75-year-history. It’s a tragic number, but it would have been much higher if not for Kevin Briggs and other members of the California Highway Patrol.
Briggs, a CHP sergeant, has been credited with saving hundreds of lives during his more than 20-year career. He said he responds to about two suicide attempts every month; over the years, he says, he’s lost just one person.
Briggs talks about that experience and how he works to stop attempted suicides in this emotional video from Yahoo! (Post continues below video.)
In the video CHP Golden Gate Bridge Captain Lisa Locati notes that most of the patrol’s efforts to stop suicides are successful. Still, the bridge has been dubbed “the world’s most popular site for suicide.” According to the Bridge Rail Foundation, which advocates for the installation of a bridge safety net, 37 people died after they jumped from the bridge in 2011. That’s up from 32 in 2010, 31 in 2009 and 34 in 2008.
Briggs’ success at stopping suicide attempts have earned him national attention in the past. In 2003, he was part of a long article in The New Yorker about suicides from the bridge that noted he “has a knack for spotting jumpers and talking them back from the edge.”
If you’re thinking of hurting yourself, consider talking to a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).