What’s The Difference?

In January I worked a few weeks between hospital stays.  I was not in a good place but I tried my best to be productive.  
When I got in to work one morning, a friend of my boss was there.  They said the bridge was closed by the police so she could not get to her work in the city.  A quick search online told them someone was climbing the cables of the bridge.  They assumed, incorrectly, that it was a suicide attempt.  
After a quick email to my therapist so she would not worry it was me on the bridge, I went to make my morning tea.  Naturally the talk in the break room centered on the mornings event.  I eavesdropped without participating.  Given my recent state of mind, I was already very upset.  The conversation made it so much worse!
First there were questions about why the entire bridge had to be shut down during rush hour.  This was a major inconvience for commuters just because someone did not want to live anymore.  The conversation then turned to suicide in general.  It went something like: I do not understand how someone gets to that place, but if they want to why can’t they just do it without disrupting traffic for hours.
I was appalled and would have gone home at that point, except I did not really feel safe myself if I left.  I called a nurse instead and got help to ensure my own safety.
When there have been accidents on one bridge or another it is not uncommon to hear complaints about the inconvenience.  What I have never heard though, is people questioning why police and paramedics block traffic to attend to victims.  I have never heard someone suggest they just leave the victims to fend for themselves.  No one ever says, They got themselves into the accident, let them take care of it.  People are generally sympathetic to accident victims, no matter how much it ties up traffic.  
Why is it different for a mental health emergency?  It is at least equally as life threatening.  It is an action born from an illness, not just someones whim at that moment.  
Maybe it is just easier for people to relate to a physical injury?  That is why mental illness needs to be talked about though.  Maybe if it was talked about more often people would be more sympathetic and understanding.  I can say I was never callous about it, but until I became a mental health patient, I was not very educated or informed either.  Now I see the bridge closure as an attempt to save a victims life that makes the traffic disruption so worthwhile! 


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