Pretty Young

April 4, 2021

Please note that this article examines suicide and suicidal ideation.


“That’s high,” I think, staring down onto the slowly moving waves. Hands clenched around the orange-red railing. 

What color even is this bridge? Orange or red? I don’t know. I don’t need to know now. Complete stillness. It seems like time stopped entirely, or at least it has for me. 




Do I actually want to?

No other way-


Like a bullet piercing through glass, his voice stops my rushing thoughts. “Hey, what are you doing?”

He is surprisingly calm. It makes me feel calm. Or does it? I don’t respond. 

“What’s your name?”

It’s like my body wants to save me and before I can stop I hear words pouring out of my mouth.

“Okay.” He pauses. “You know how cold that water is, right?” 

“No.” I’m not sure he even heard me. 

“Probably 50, 53 degrees.” Like I can actually feel it, goosebumps start covering my body. Leave. 

Not your life. 


No other way. 

Do it.

No don’t.


There is no chance to finish a single thought, constantly interrupted by his voice behind me. So close. It’s not the right timing. There is no other way.

“I don’t know you but you seem pretty young to give up on life now.”

You don’t know, I want to say but am interrupted by a sudden familiar sound. I hear my mother’s voice as if she was standing right next to me. I turn my head.

“If you give me your hand I can help you get back up. It’s not too late. There is always hope. There is always a way.”

I can’t move.

I can’t talk.

My thoughts are screaming.

A way. He says there is a way. 

There is just one thing. I’m standing on the edge. On the edge of this bridge which isn’t even golden. Just a rusty dull orange. 

And I’m seconds away from living or dying. 


The Golden Gate Bridge is the most popular suicide site in the United States, which has one of the highest suicide rates among wealthy countries. Having spent a lot of time in San Francisco, I used to cross the Bridge regularly, wondering about people who see no other way in life than suicide. How can you help if you don’t know what is going on in someone else’s mind?


I came across the story of a young man trying to take his life at the Golden Gate Bridge. An officer rescued him by convincing him to climb back up. The reason the young man decided to live is because the officer actually listened to him. 


I have heard stories about people dying by suicide who didn’t seem depressed or unhappy. No one really knows what’s going on inside someone else. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety are an ever-growing problem in our society and can affect anyone.


Especially in this isolating time, check-in with your loved ones and make sure they are okay.


Mental health issues don’t make you weak or a bad person.

Ask for help. 

You are not alone. 




Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: 1-800-463-2338


Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645


Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868


If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.


United States: 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255


Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990


If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

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