PORTLAND – On Saturday friends and family held a candlelight vigil honoring a 15-year-old who took her own life by jumping off the Vista Bridge in Southwest Portland.
The people at Saturday’s vigil brought candles and left flowers. They said the purpose was to raise awareness about suicide and to start the conversation, getting people talking about prevention.
People at the vigil said they want barriers along the Vista Bridge and Portland city leaders said they're open to putting them up, if it means saving lives.
A group, called Friends of the Vista Bridge, are pushing city officials to put anti-suicide barriers on the bridge.
Leaders are receptive to the idea of a security barrier, but the projected $2.5 million price tag is steep for a city that's been tackling a $20 million budget shortfall. The city may seek a federal grant.
"We certainly think of it as a high priority," City Commissioner Steve Novick said. "But there's a whole mess of competing priorities and not much money."
Organizers of Saturday’s vigil wanted to remind everyone that help is available and suicide should never be an option.
"We are here to mourn many people who have passed and we need a barrier on the bridge that will stop people from jumping," said Bonnie Kahn.
Cascadia Behavioral Health has urgent walk-in clinics and if you or someone you know needs help. The help is there.