He died on the bridge on the way to the hospital 

(A night of bad memories. Sorry) 

He had worked his entire life in the defense industry.   It was his life. 

He thought he might be suffering from depression and one afternoon went to the ER.   He didn’t know much about therapists or anything like that but he thought a doctor could tell him what to do.   He didn’t want anything messing up his job. 

The hospital he went to had a psychiatric unit there and they sent a social worker down to see him.   She talked to him a while and asked him if he had ever felt suicidal.   He thought everyone had and said yes.   She excused herself and went to check his insurance.   After that she went to talk to the doctor. 

Turned out he had good insurance. 

The doctor came in and told him he was commitable because he had talked about hurting himself.   He tried to explain but the doctor told him he would have to commit him to the state hospital….. But… 

He had an option.   The unit at the hospital only accepted voluntary admissions and if he would voluntarily admit himself no committal would be be necessary. 

The guy was sobbing by now.   He wanted he told them a promise they would not tell his job.   It was the weekend and he thought he could miss next to no work and no one would ever know. They promised him. 

He was discharged in 3 days.  He was the star of the unit.   He was smart and everybody liked him.  Even the staff thought he had his shit together. 

About 2 weeks after his discharge his world caved in.   His job found out,  his security clearance was gone and with that his job.  Somebody later told me he thought one of the psychiatrists at the hospital also did some consulting for the government and that was how they found out. It  could have been they just found out what the insurance was being billed for.   The truth was no one knew and as far as the guy was concerned it didn’t really change anything. 

A couple of weeks after he lost his job he drove towards the hospital.   There was a bridge along the way.   He got out of his car and walked to the edge and jumped off into the interstate below.   They said he died immediately. 

I  knew some people who worked at the hospital.   They were shocked.   One guy told me none of them had thought he was that bad off. 


2 thoughts on “He died on the bridge on the way to the hospital ”

  1. You are starting to worry me, Larry. I am concerned for your emotional health.

    The story is superb. I will use it with my own advocacy efforts, because you’ve put such a human face on an egregious problem that is entirely too theoretical too often for too many. We

    Thank you. I would also like your opinion about the following:

    I am considering starting a Coalition Facebook page up to interact with more consumers and exchange ideas, information and advocacy strategies. I wish I could just merge with another existing page, but I don’t see how it would be workable over time.

    I am now checking 3-4 pages on FB, plus the NCMHR Google group. I still am not satisfied. I need more interaction, relationships, advocacy prepping, and gathering info from the grassroots. And frankly, I’m getting weary of going from pillar to post.

    But I feel snake bit from the STMB page. What a nightmarish monster it became, abandoned by its original creator, requiring volunteer administrators having to monitor the site in shifts to deal with the bullying and disrespect. And then it was shut down too quickly, based on a political assessment that I utterly disagreed with.

    I can’t just start up a page and watch what happens… It will get toxic quickly without clear guidelines that are continually upheld. And I can’t do that by myself.

    I value your own perspective. You have kept up far better than I have with a broad array of places to find and opinions to share ever since the Murphy Bill crawled out of the sewer. What do you suggest?


    1. I think a Facebook page would be great. No existing page has what you are talking about. Some are not safe. That is what happened to the Murphy page. It simply got dangerous. And it became about ego and not usefulness. I know I stopped going there long before it ended. You need a page with clear agenda and a way to make sure that posts that support that agenda occur. Pages acquire a momentum. If you leave it to chance it is easily hijacked. You need a clear statement of values, what is expected and not. One clear and explicit goal needs to be too provide a safe space. Some of it will be self policing if you establish a clear momentum but you need to have a way to enforce things also. Perhaps some kind of verbal warning followed by putting someone on moderation etc. Dont be afraid to boot people out. If you are perceived as welcoming bullies they will flock like sharks. And unfortunately for some people bullying is their agenda. I like the idea of saying you welcome everyone but that part of joining the group is that you make commitment to also welcome everyone and if you can’t think carefully before entering. This is kind of jumbled but just a few thoughts. You will do great.
      Thanks by the way. This is a very hard time for me.

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