A 37-year-old man identified as Daniel Jan España is the latest victim of suicide, throwing himself into the void below of the bridge over the Virilla river in Tibas, known as the Saprissa brBridge.
The incident occurred shortly after 7:00 am Thursday, initially called as an accidental fall, however, witnesses told investigators they saw the man launch from the bridge.
“We received information about a person who had thrown himself from the Saprissa bridge on Route 32, teams from the Cruz Roja Costarricense (Red Cross) along with the Fuerza Publica (police) arrived at the site and unfortunately the death of this person is confirmed,” said Luis Guzmán, regional operations coordinator the Cruz Roja.
The man threw himself right at the point on the bridge where there is a sign with the phrase: “Everything will improve, please come home.”
The Saprissa Bridge is a common location for suicides in the greater metropolitan area.
On Wednesday, a 20-year-old girl, Eimy Carolina González Rivera, took her own life hanging herself from a billboard in Curribabat.
The young woman was single, owned her own home and worked as a programmer at a call center in San Jose.
Óscar Valverde, president of the College of Psychologists, said that they have noticed an increase in cases of suicide and suicide attempts recently.
In 2014, the suicide attempt rate was 25.22 people per 100,000 inhabitants, but by 2018 it went to 37.9.
“The rate of the number of people per 100,000 inhabitants who commit suicide is increasing and both attempts and completed suicides have increased and precisely what the Colegio has tried, through campaigns or appeals, to respond to this, we do want to continue mourning lives,” Valverde said.
He stressed that depression is not the only reason that leads to suicide, but it does generate greater risk, as well as economic and social problems, among other causes.
For the expert, it also affects the fact that people do not talk about suicide or their desire to consummate this act.
“One of the best things we can do about suicide is to talk about it (…) people are afraid to ask because they feel they can induce suicide,” said Valverde, who continued on to explain that talking about mental health issues could allow others to intervene and even encourage the affected person to seek professional help.
Another aspect that affects the issue of mental health is the taboo that only crazy people go to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Former Miss Costa Rica 1994, Yazamin Morales authored a strong and poignant letter to President Carlos Alvarado on the issue. Read On.