We need volunteer huggers in Edmonton, stationed on the High Level Bridge. A few on the north side and some on the south side. Because sometimes a hug can lead to conversation, which could be life-saving. Edmonton city councillors voted Tuesday to look at options in securing the High Level Bridge to bring down the number of suicides. There were 14 deaths last year around the bridge area: 14 too many. And 41 reported suicide attempts between 2011 and 2013. Forty-one too many.
I think people who find themselves in such a state of thinking about ending their lives are going to find their way on to the bridge, no matter what. But if there were folks around watching, looking for signs of distress we might be on to something. What if the city and The Support Network got together and trained volunteers to help?
There could be rewarding in so many ways. For volunteers it would provide a way for them to reach out in ways they might not even know they had. Maybe just an hour at a time. For people in need, a caring face can do so much. Sometimes, just seeing someone can comfort us. And a welcoming hug could change someone’s life. What do you think, Edmonton?