- The Mapo Bridge became a major attraction site after it was renewed as the Bridge of Life in September, 2012 by the SMG, as parts of the city government’s efforts to prevent people from jumping off the bridge.
- Since the renewal of the bridge, more tried to take their own lives on the bridge, but the actual number of those who did jump off the bridge decreased by 47% from the previous year.
- The change in the counting method is the actual cause of the seemingly increase of suicide attempts on the bridge; the number is now counted based on the reports from more diverse sources including Life Line, and CCTV detection. In the past, it only relied on the witnesses’ reports.
- The death toll decreased from 6 to 5, and the survival rate soared from 94.6% in 2013 from 60% in the previous year.
- The CCTV monitoring and surveillance system has been implemented. Suicide prevention fences with mirrors were installed on the bridge as well.
- As more citizens visit the bridge, which became famous as the Bridge of Life, the space is indeedbecoming a bridge where a life is saved.
In September, 2012, Seoul metropolitan government initiated the ‘Bridge of Life’ on the Mapo Bridge, to prevent suicides. Since then, suicide attempts on the bridge increased significantly to 93 in 2013, but 85 of them were recused on the bridge and only 8 of them actually jumped off the bridge into the Han River, which is a 47% decrease from 15 jumps in 2012. The change indicates that the ‘Bridge of Life’ has been effective in curbing the fatality.
In a response to a recent media report that the project made the Mapo Bridge all the more famous, and that the attention only led to even more suicide attempts on the bridge, the SMG explained that the number of 93 suicide attempts on the bridge in 2013, a seemingly substantial increase, is the result of the change in the report method; until 2012, the number was counted mostly based on witnesses’ and 119 reports, but from 2013, the number was counted from more diverse sources, including call to the “Life Line’, the call center which offers counseling for the desperate and motion detection of CCTVs.
- The number of suicide attempts was counted based on the reports by witnesses who called 119. (One attempts on average per month)
- The increase of emergency rescue dispatch, as the attempts are reported more accurately thanks to the cooperation with LifeLine Korea, 119 & 112, and the motion detection of CCTVs on the bridge. (8.4 cases on average per month)
- An increase of requests for 119 dispatches by the counselors of the LifeLine Korea (or SOS LifeLine) while dissuading suicide attempts: 48 requests in total.
- Police dispatch led from 112 reports: 20 cases in total
- Media attention of the Bridge of Life resulted in more 119 reports by citizens who cross the bridge
In addition, the death toll decreased from 6 to 5, and the survival rate soared from 94.6% in 2013 from 60% in the previous year.
※ The number of suicide attempts on the bridge in 2013: 93 cases. (85 of those who made a fatal decision were rescued on the bridge, while eight of them indeed jumped off the bridge, leading to five deaths.)
The SMG also added that the city government enhanced its suicide prevention efforts, including implementation of CCTV monitoring and surveillance system. And the fact that there are more cases where citizens who visit Mapo Bridge to see its renewal as the Bridge of Life save suicide attempters, testifies that Mapo Bridge has now began its transition from a bridge to take a life to a bridge to save one.
In addition, the SMG installed the higher fences with mirrors to prevent suicides on the 500 meter lookout platform of the bridge, of which fences were relatively lower, and attached detection sensors to prevent falls, thereby established a swift rescue system.
The Seoul government plans to continue its efforts to curb suicide attempts on the bridge and seek out sensible ways to prevent the suicide attempts through consistent monitoring.