Silence = Death
First off, I want to extend a warm thank you to Matthieu Aikins for his informative and well written article “Adam’s Fall”. Mr. Aikins’s article brought needed attention to the controversial issue of suicide and the MacDonald Bridge, and a preventative measure (suicide barriers) which is being ignored by the city because of, it appears, cost-benefit issues. In my opinion, the article was particularly effective because it so adeptly told a very emotional story while also interspersing information concerning suicide barriers, the bridge, and the issue of suicide itself. I am a person who believes that a taboo issue such as suicide should be discussed and talked about, not swept under the rug because it is difficult, depressing, or controversial. Although it doesn’t surprise me, it is frustrating and wrong that information about suicide concerning the MacDonald Bridge is not available to the public through the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission. I don’t buy their stance that releasing this information will increase of the bridge as suicide hot-spot. The “don’t speak, don’t tell” method of dealing with an issue like suicide will never solve anything. However, preventative measures can save lives. But if there are “barriers” up to getting information concerning this issue, it will be much more difficult to work toward getting preventative measures in place. Without a doubt, a suicide barrier on the MacDonald Bridge will stop people from jumping, and they will be given another chance to consider their personal problems and sort them out. Many, many people in life consider committing suicide, but few follow through. The silence surrounding suicide is so dangerous because people who are considering suicide think they’re alone and can’t talk to anyone about it, but nothing could be further from the truth. Finally, I want to thank the Cashen family for having the courage and to come forward, speak openly about their personal tragedy, and fight for a suicide barrier on the MacDonald Bridge. I can’t imagine what they’ve gone through, but it’s easy to see they are people of great integrity and hope.
By Scott Hicks