TACOMA, Wash. - In Pierce County, nearly two dozen new signs are now posted along the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to prevent people from taking their own lives.
The Gig Harbor & Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition has been working on this effort for over a year.
Since 2014, nine people have died from jumping off the Narrows Bridge.
The signs offer a message of hope and a phone number to call and text to get to a suicide hotline.
“If signs can make people pause, that’s the goal and it has served its purpose,” said Bob Anderson, the coalition’s group coordinator.
Anderson lost his son, Rob, to suicide 20 years ago.
He said the group’s mission now is to encourage the state legislation to put aside more money in the budget that could towards putting in netting or barriers at bridges across the state.
KIRO 7 also reached out to the Peninsula School District, which is also part of the coalition.
According to Katy Weymiller, the district’s communication and community engagement director, there’s always a concern with it comes to suicide and teens.
In the latest Health Youth Survey, 25 percent of high school seniors in the Peninsula School District have seriously considered suicide. That’s 3 percent higher than the state average.
“We realize that it’s harder to be a kid now than it’s ever been,” said Weymiller. There’s so much pressure on our kids, cellphones and social media with them constantly. The constant need to fit in. You don’t get a break when you leave school.”
The coalition is also working to put these signs up in other public places throughout Pierce County.
A reminder to stop, think, and get help.
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