2013-06-28

Co.Exist

This South Korean Bridge Lights Up To Persuade People Not To Jump

When you walk over the Mapo Bridge in Seoul, it flashes you a message of hope.

South Korea has the second highest rate of suicides in the developed world (after Greenland). And the Mapo Bridge, in Seoul, is a particularly tragic spot. Every year, dozens of people jump to their death.

To do something about this, Cheil Worldwide came up with the "Bridge of Life": a light-and-message system that gets people out of themselves, and seeing the essential side of life again. The company claims the suicide rate has fallen 77% on the bridge as a result. Below is a clip talking about the making of the project:

The railing now has an extra section with sensors inside. When people come close, it lights up and displays phrases like "The best is yet to come," "I love you," and "Did you eat anything?" (approved by suicide-prevention groups). There’s also an image section with photos of kids, couples and grandparents, and a nice brass statue showing two friends (one guy is miserable, the other is trying to cheer him up).

Bridge of Life, which was paid for by Samsung Life Insurance, recently picked up a prize at the Clio advertising awards. The same team is now developing nearby Hangang Bridge along the same lines.

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4 Comments

  • MOO

    The phrase "have you eaten anything?" is a common saying in Korea that mothers that are worried about their children would say...It's saying that someone cares, and that the jumper's mother would be sad.

  • Adam S. Cochran

    The first two messages seem great I totally get it, not only are they warm supportive messages but they may also be shocking, cause an individual to step back and rexamine things...but "Have you eaten anything?" How is that contributing to suicide prevention?

  • Clyde Erwin Barretto

    Thing is the phrase "Have you eaten anything?" (which surely is also said by mothers in many other cultures) is kind of a big connection/"thing" with Korean kids and their mothers/parents. So maybe when they do see that they'll think of their mothers, their love, etc. rather than committing suicide. Just a thought...

  • Sclayton11

     I agree. The first two phrases will make you stop and think... but the third? That's gotta go, even if it was approved by suicide-prevention groups.