Onlookers (including first responders) watch man commit suicide
Posted Jun 04 2011 1:14pm
A few days ago I was looking through yahoo news and ran across the following headline '‘Handcuffed by policy,’ fire and police crews watch man drown'. After that headline, I had to find out what was going on. Apparently, Zack, a 52 year old man, had waded into the water to commit suicide. First responders were called to the scene but because of budget cuts that had ended the land-to-water rescue program they were not allowed to intervene (see this video for more information)
From the article: Officials blamed a departmental policy, stemming from budget cuts, that prevented them from jumping in to save him. Procedure trumped the help that was needed. This was a human being obviously attempting to commit suicide yet first responders and beach goers stood by and watched him wade into the water. According to witnesses he kept looking back at the beach where the people were watching him from.
I have never been suicidal and I hope I will never be able to understand why anyone would feel so terrible that taking their own life seems like the only way out. I have seen L so depressed though that to him it seemed the only solution. We have dealt with several suicide attempts on his part, not to mention the times when he was 'just' suicidal without attempting. Talking to him during those times only can offer a glimpse into what is going on inside of him then.
Now try to imagine feeling at your worst as it is, feeling that there is no way out other than ending your life. That nobody cares enough to help. And your feelings are suddenly validated by the fact that the people sworn to rescue and protect you are just standing around doing nothing. Nothing at all. What if just going out in the water close enough to talk to him could have saved his life? I am not even trained to do anything like this but I cannot imagine just standing there and not even ATTEMPTING to help. At least go into the water to try to talk to him. Let him know that there ARE resources available to him. That people CARE.
Are you in crisis? Are you feeling desperate, alone or hopeless? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.
* Call for yourself or someone you care about * Free and confidential * Available 24/7