Landmarks Have Fatal Attraction to the Suicidal
Two suicide attempts at Niagara Falls this week have renewed an age-old worry about some of the nation’s most famous landmarks: such highly visible places are magnets for troubled people looking to end their lives.
Cities and states around the nation have tried to come up with ways to deter suicide attempts — officials at the Golden Gate Bridge installed crisis phones and hope to put in safety nets. The Empire State Building has already installed a net.
For depressed people who want their final act to be monumental, such landmarks are sought out because of their high visibility and notoriety, experts say.
This week, two people attempted to kill themselves at Niagara Falls. One person died, and another was rescued.
“There is a certain appeal to committing suicide in a place of significance — a romanticism that goes along with it,” says Sandra Sanger, a psychologist in St. Paul. “There is also a collective sense of connection with other people in these last moments right before suicide occurs.”