Marin County of California has the highest incidence of suicide in the nation. These high statistics are generally attributed to the Golden Gate Bridge and San Quentin State Prison. Both locations bring additional suicides to the county since people come from other areas to jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge, and prisoners from all over California who are sentenced to death reside in San Quentin. In this study, we did a detailed analysis of the Marin County suicide statistics and determined the impact of the Golden Gate Bridge. Death statistics from Marin County (Holmes, 2005) were analyzed according to manner of death. The suicide categories were further subdivided into method of suicide, age of suicide victims, and gender of suicide victims. Special emphasis was placed on the Golden Gate Bridge as a method of suicide and this study also attempts to map the pattern of residency of the bridge jumpers. Our analysis was focused on data from more recent years (1990 through 2005) and our results show that while self-inflicted gunshot wounds are the leading method of suicide nationally, Golden Gate Bridge jumpers are the leading method of suicide in Marin County.
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Vol. 79 • No. 4