Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission steps up efforts to prevent jumpers
There's a debate whether suicides spike during the holidays. Studies find the months of November, December and January have the lowest number of suicides per day. But officials in one nearby town say suicide is a very real issue for them.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, two people took their lives off the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge. They were two apparent suicides within four weeks and the first incident at the bridge in five years.
"While it may seem like a low number, two within a one month period really was a call to action," explained Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission spokesperson Joe Donnelly.
Hoping to save lives, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission decided on seven measures it could take to cut back on suicide attempts, especially around this year's holiday season.
"A time that can be stressful for people often associated with depression," Donnelly said.
For the last week, steps have been initiated at bridges considered susceptible to jumpers. State and local police as well as toll officers have increased patrols of the crossings, security camera monitors are watching the bridges more closely, and electronic signs have been posted with crisis intervention hotline numbers.
"They have been directed to step up their foot patrols of those bridges as well," added Donnelly.
He said it's all worth the time and effort if they just help one person stop and think twice about committing suicide.
"If a loved one or an individual is considering suicide, reach out and get help as soon as possible," said Donnelly. "Do not dismiss it."
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