Suicide is a growing issue that affects so many more people than just the ones at risk.
As daily societal pressures grow and the pace of life keeps speeding up, more and more people are dealing with depression and other afflictions that make the future look hopeless.
It’s important for us to keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to the people who struggle with suicide. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available that are becoming more and more well-known.
Most of us know people who struggle with dark thoughts or have experienced them ourselves, but not as many of us will be faced with helping someone at that most crucial point, where they hang in the balance between life and death.
There are plenty of stories of people living near cliffs or bridges who make it their life’s work to approach and talk down would-be jumpers.
This story is a little different because it’s about a cop who used his own body to preserve another person’s life. He didn’t have the opportunity to talk to the suicidal man, he just leapt into action.
The incident took place in southwest China, in Chongqing. It was the morning of July 25, a little after 8 a.m. when first responders got the call.
Zhao, the man who was clinging to the bridge, kept yelling at bystanders to stay away. There were crowds gathered, watching as the man balanced on a tiny ledge above the roadway.
Liu Yunhe was one of the policemen who showed up that day. Others tried to place a safety catch below the man so he wouldn’t be harmed if he fell.
After speaking to him and trying to talk him out of trying to take his own life, firefighters decided not to lose any more time and they ran at him, hoping to grab him and haul him to safety.
Zhao saw them coming, and let go of the railing right as they got to him. He plunged toward the asphalt below as the crowds screamed.
As he fell, Liu rushed toward him, positioning himself between the man and the street. He stretched out his arms and broke the man’s fall. Both men fell to the ground.
Officer Liu was injured — his leg muscles were damaged from his heroic actions — but Zhao was unharmed, and lived to see another day.
For Liu, the decision wasn’t difficult. “It’s my responsibility,” he said, simply. “I had to do it.”
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