[Note: Originally published December 24, we’re posting this story again for the sake of those who want to volunteer on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.]
Between 10 a.m. December 24 and 2 p.m. December 25 over a hundred scheduled volunteer “angels” will man the Golden Gate Bridge to offer a helping hand and a kind face to any person who might be harboring thoughts of suicide.
According to the Bridgewatch Angels Facebook page, SFPD officer Mia Munayer founded the grassroots suicide prevention group after seeing the documentary The Bridge in 2010 and being shocked by the tragic statistics.
[Update: A Bridgewatch spokesperson tells Curbed SF that Munayer is actually with the Pleasanton Police Department.]
The Bridgewatch Angels crew the span on Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and day, and New Year’s Eve and day since 2011.
“Our primary focus [is] to positively engage individuals on the bridge who are walking alone, displaying negative body posture, or lingering mid-span,” Munayer wrote on Hoodline in 2016.
Anyone interested in volunteering on any of the four upcoming dates can report to the Bridge Cafe at 10 a.m. that morning for training.
The city no longer publishes data on how many people jump from the Golden Gate Bridge every year for fear of inciting potentially suicidal people to imitate, but the span remains one of the most common sites for suicides and suicide attempts in the world.
If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).