When men and women arrive in such a dark place that they weigh suicide, you hope they encounter obstacles and, soon enough, help in alleviating the emotional pain. That was part of the thinking behind the fencing recently erected on the All-America Bridge.
The fence would act as a deterrent, making more difficult the leap. That has been the practical and saving result. What the fence does not bring is a guarantee, a reality confirmed on Thursday evening when a man stopped, climbed on top of his vehicle and jumped to his death.
The office of Mayor Don Plusquellic responded most appropriately, sharing its sadness and providing a reminder that those driven to end their lives will find a way. What makes the investment in the fencing worthwhile, why suicide prevention groups long argued for its installation, is “that moment of pause” the city noted.
That moment alludes to something much broader — to the resources that a community must make available to those suffering so greatly. To its credit, the Akron area has done a good job of mobilizing to prevent suicide, knowing that the right intervention, via counseling and medication, can save lives. Yet, in a moment such as this, it is well to take inventory, to ask ourselves: How can the community better provide help?