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Medicine, Reading notes

Saturday Journal Club.

If I had not been fixing a computer, this would have gone up on Saturday. So here it is, late

Let us start with secondary prevention. We have done similar interventions with bridges in Auckland and roads to cliffs in Dunedin.

Seventy-nine years after the first call to action to erect a barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, construction on a suicide deterrent is at long last under way.

The number of completed suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge has risen to about 35 per year, about a 30 percent increase in the past decade or so, along with a similar rise in the national suicide rate. Psychiatrists and relatives of the bridge’s suicide victims hope the movement to erect suicide deterrents at key locations will catch on in other communities around the country.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7-mile long suspension bridge considered one of the top engineering marvels in the world. But it also has a darker side as one of the world’s most frequent sites for suicide, with more than 1,700 confirmed deaths since its opening in 1937. The hope is that all this will soon change.

Now, workers have begun closing some traffic lanes at night to truck in materials and over the next month will begin installing scaffolding that will support construction of a net that is forged of marine-grade woven steel, nearly seven football fields long, that will jut out 20 feet over the water.

The net will be gray, designed to blend in with the fog for which San Francisco is well known. It will be positioned a full two stories—20 feet—below the bridge’s sidewalk and roadway surface so it will not be visible to motorists or pedestrians crossing the bridge. It is hoped that it will deter people from not only jumping but also coming to the bridge with suicide in mind,

Psychiatric News

This is a grab bag. One of the things someone asked is does political stance affect therapeutic orientation. I cannot get at the paper, but the abstract is intriguing.

Given the current political climate in the United States, it is ever more important to understand the role political ideology plays in the counseling profession. Our study examined the role of political ideologies in 467 licensed mental health counselors’ preferred counseling theories in clinical practice. We found (a) most participants reported liberal political ideologies; (b) the participants preferred cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), humanistic/constructivist/existentialist, and mindfulness-based theories over systemic, psychodynamic, and experiential theories; and (c) self-identification as conservative, registration with the Republican Party, and endorsement of Libertarian beliefs predicted a preference for CBT, self-identified liberal ideology predicted a preference for psychodynamic theory, and lower levels of libertarian beliefs predicted a preference for humanistic theories.

Norton AL, Tan TX. The relationship between licensed mental health counselors’ political ideology and counseling theory preference. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2018 Aug 20. doi: 10.1037/ort0000339. [Epub ahead of print]

One Comment

  1. I just walked on the Golden Gate bridge two months ago, and it’s worth noting that the approaches to the main span already have chain link fence up to about 8′ to deter suicides. It interferes with the view a bit, but…..

    ….and quite frankly, given the population there and the hopelessness of the political and religious mainstream there, I’m somewhat surprised that it’s only 1700 deaths, or about 20 per year. To draw a picture, when I visited my brother across the Bay in Berkeley back in 1994, I heard a young man plunging to his death from the math building–thankfully I was in a stairwell when he fell and didn’t see. Couldn’t sleep well for a couple of days after that, for sure. Big pressure cooker in that area.

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