Skagit County, WA- King 5 News recently published a story on a local Facebook group that has come together to paint “messages of hope” on rocks for people thinking about ending their life by jumping from Deception Pass Bridge.
The local Facebook group called Deception Pass Suicide Prevention was started by Kelly Harold after seeing a YouTube video of a teen successfully saving lives by placing inspirational signs at a bridge in England. This spurred the idea to paint rocks with inspirational messages of hope on them and place them at the bridge.
Unfortunately, it appears that no one checked with the Washington State Department of Transportation to see if placing rocks on the bridge was allowed and it is not.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) says the painted rocks pose a safety and environmental risk. As a result of the safety and environmental risks associated with the rocks being left on the bridge, the Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance staff checked the bridge to remove the rocks, but they had already been removed, possibly by State Parks Staff. The rocks pose a tripping hazard for walkers and they pose a “fall” hazard for boaters or hikers below the bridge. WSDOT doesn’t allow rocks or any other items to be left on the bridge for safety reason.
WSDOT says they are in talks about partnerships in mental health education for the area and hope to work with local organizations or groups for mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, help is available. 1-800-273-TALK