The Golden Gate Bridge, with its mythic beauty, easy access, and promise of near-certain death, kills an average of 30 lost souls every year, making it among the most popular suicide sites on Earth. Unattached, middle-aged white men are the most frequent victims.
Suicide kills more than 6,000 men in their 50s each year, a nearly 50 percent increase over the past decade. Though women are more likely than men to attempt suicide, four times as many men die by suicide. This grim disparity reflects women’s preference for drug overdoses, which allow time for life-saving interventions, and men’s penchant for more lethal means such as guns and jumping from high places, which don’t.
As surely as a leap from the Golden Gate Bridge kills—98 percent of jumpers die—barriers on suicide hot spots can save lives.
Is anyone bothering to ask why more fiftysomething men are killing themselves?