Luminous veils guarding suicide bridges are a waste of money
The Prince Edward viaduct that connects Bloor Street East, on the west side of the city of Toronto, with Danforth Ave on the east side became a magnet for suicide. With nearly 500 suicides by 2003, the viaduct ranked as the second most fatal standing structure in North America, after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The suicides and safety risks prompted the construction of a barrier in 2003. I remember the outcries of people protesting the construction of the barrier. I remember people reminding us that city tax dollars could be better spent on services that would keep people alive. Opening more distress centers, hiring more crisis management staff and funding non-medical healing therapy and/or treatments or counseling would be a better investment of the $5.5 million it cost, (with $2.5 million coming from taxpayers) to build the luminous veil.
Let me remind you that those non medical healing therapies such as counseling, holistic and spiritual care are out of pocket medical expenses not paid for by the government of Ontario. So if you are depressed and poor, your most affordable option for treatment is going to your family doctor. Visiting your family doctor is FREE because it’s paid for by the government with your tax money. Your family doctor will probably treat your depression with psychotropic drugs which exacerbates your suicidal impulses.Treating a suicidal person with anti depressants is the equivalent of handing him a loaded shotgun. Highway 401 emphasizes that.
The abolition of holistic therapy is not only happening in Ontario but it’s happening all over the world. The Ontario government is trying to eliminate access to holistic medicine by attempting to legislate the Registered Health Profession Act (RHPA) . If you prefer traditional, holistic, energy and/or spiritual care treatments not influenced by the medical/drug approach, your choice in assessment and treatments of your issues will be restricted to someone who is a registered psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.
This legislation is designed to create a monopoly for the pharmaceutical cartel. It eliminates anyone that takes away money from the cartel. If you practice any form of traditional, non-medical healing therapy and/or treatments or counseling, including spiritual and addictions counseling, in the Province of Ontario, your rights to do so will be severely restricted after March of this year.
So let’s get back to the luminous veil. If your city is ever faced with an epidemic of people jumping off bridges, let them know that spending millions of dollars building a barrier is a waste of money. Tell your local councilor to spend money on services that will actually save that young, depressed man in the closet from taking his life instead of spending it on services that will push him off the ledge.