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Rhode Island Wants To Prevent Suicides With Barriers on Bridges

January 14, 2020

One Rhode Island group is hoping to decrease suicides by making infrastructure improvements.

Bryan Ganley and Melissa Cotta formed Bridging the Gap for Safety and Healing four years ago.  Now, they want to add suicide prevention and pedestrian barriers to major bridges in the Ocean State, according to WJAR.

Last year, Rhode Island police received 36 calls about suicides and suicide attempts on the Mount Hope Bridge alone.

State officials told WJAR that since the bridge, which spans Narragansett Bay between Portsmouth and Bristol, is not a pedestrian bridge, when drivers see someone on the bridge, they should call the police because there’s an increased chance the person might jump.

This is not the first attempt to prevent suicides on the Mount Hope Bridge. Earlier this decade, a group called Samaritans of Rhode Island added signs with messages to the bridge advising people to not commit suicide. Their signs featured the national suicide hotline number.

Bridging the Gap for Safety and Healing plans to submit a study to the Rhode Island General Assembly explaining the potential benefit of the additional barriers.

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