Why do people attempt suicide in public places? Woman loses life to suicide in Auburn Hills parking lot

The Oakland Press/TIM THOMPSON
Can you imagine going into work in the morning and finding a dead body in the parking lot?

This is what happened yesterday when employees arrived to work at Industrial Experimental Technologies in Auburn Hills. They found a 48-year-old Oakland County woman face down with what appeared to be self-inflicted lacerations on the inside of her arms, reports John Turk of The Oakland Press.

The employees were obviously shaken, and this will surely be an image that will stick in their minds forever — and probably replayed itself over and over as they tried to fall asleep last night. This event could possibly affect their state of mental health as well. A vicious circle.

This is something I don't think a person could ever really get over. I know, for me personally, I would never get over it.

Christine Chubbuck
Maybe that's why some people choose to take their lives in public — as a way to make sure they are never forgotten.

One of the most public suicides within the last 50 years was that of Christine Chubbuck, a news anchor in Florida. She went through the newscast, covering three national news stories and a local restaurant shooting from the previous day. She ended by saying, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in 'blood and guts' and in living color, you are going to see another first — attempted suicide." She then drew a gun, shot herself behind the ear, slumped forward and was pronounced dead 14 hours later.

I don't know about you, but this is not something I would want to be remembered for. I would not want this to be the last image people had of me. And I would especially not want the image of my dead body to be what people — strangers even — replayed in their heads day after day and, likely, remembered for the rest of their lives.

Forevermore, people will not remember you for your accomplishments, but for this.

When Google searching "Christine Chubbuck," every search talks about her "live on-air suicide." No, she is not remembered for the things she did in her life or for the stories she covered. Instead she is remembered for the gruesome way in which she died.

Authorities have been looking into how to prevent public deaths, specifically the most common public suicide of jumping from a bridge, with preventive measures such as concrete barriers, suicide hot line phones or safety nets hanging from bridges.

Kevin Hines, who survived a leap from the Golden Gate Bridge in 2000, told The Associated Press, "I would never have jumped off that bridge" if there had been obstructions in the way."

Most importantly, if someone posts on social media about suicide or if you see someone in a public place about to commit suicide, take it seriously and call 9-1-1 immediately.

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