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Health News Florida

Fences have dramatically cut the number of suicides on Tampa Bay's Skyway bridge

Florida Daily Life
Steve Helber
/
The Florida Channel
The Sunshine Skyway, with its 190-foot-high main span, links Pinellas and Manatee counties on Interstate 275 over Tampa Bay.

Suicides from the span had averaged 12 to 15 a year, Since the installation of the fencing in June 2021, there have been four deaths, although another 10 people jumped and survived.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for confidential support and direction to helpful resources. Help is also available online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can also be reached by dialing 211. or online at crisiscenter.com.

skyway bridge.jpg
The Florida Channel
Traffic streams over the Sunshine Skyway, where new suicide prevention fencing was completed in June 2021.

For decades, the Sunshine Skyway has been one of the Tampa Bay’ area's most iconic landmarks. But the 190-foot-high bridge has also drawn hundreds of people wanting to take their own life.

Most who have jumped from the top of span have died. Each time, witnesses, first responders and loved ones are left traumatized.

Now, nearly a year since fences along the top of the bridge over Tampa Bay were completed, suicide rates have decreased dramatically.

Suicides from the span had averaged 12 to 15 a year, Since the installation of the fencing in June 2021, there have been four deaths, although another 10 people jumped and survived.

“It’s been an effective solution to help eliminate this problem,” Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins told the Bradenton Herald.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.