PORTLAND – Traffic was slowed for several hours as two people threatened to jump from Portland bridges Wednesday, but police were able to convince them both to reconsider.
Suicides on the Vista Bridge led the city of Portland to enact a plan for permanent barriers there, but Wednesday morning a man climbed over the temporary fencing.
He threatened to jump, but after speaking with police and crisis negotiators he agreed to be taken to a Portland hospital for a psychological evaluation. He was on the bridge for about 12 hours.
Supporters of the new barricades said despite the Wednesday incident, the new plan is working.
“What the fence does is creates a pause,” said Kenneth Kahn with Friends of the Vista Bridge. “Since the fence was erected, there have been three people who attempted suicide. Because the fence was there, it drew attention to the fact they were in crisis, and people responded.”
Meanwhile, during the evening commute a woman driving southbound on the Fremont Bridge stopped her car and got out. Police said she ran to the side of the bridge and threatened to jump.
The southbound lanes of the bridge were closed, as were the streets below. But police were able to convince the woman to reconsider.
The Portland Police Bureau released the following information for anyone struggling with a mental health crisis:
Suicide is preventable
If you or someone you know needs help with suicidal thought or is otherwise in an immediate mental health crisis, please consider the following options:
The Multnomah County Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 503-988-4888.
Lines for Life is available 24 hours a day at 503-972-3456.
Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare has an urgent walk-in clinic, open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Payment is not necessary. Call 503-963-2575.
The police bureau has also produced a new suicide prevention video: