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Reuters reports on efforts by the city of Seoul to reduce the alarming number of attempted suicides reported every year at the Mapo Bridge. The bridge’s guardrail features encouraging messages (“The best part of your life is yet to come”) and unusual factoids ("Did you know gorillas all have blood type B?) to comfort — or at least momentarily distract — the despondent from their troubles.
During the last five years, 875 people have attempted to kill themselves by jumping off of one of the bridges crossing the Han River, according to the Korea Times. The Mapo Bridge, which connects Seoul’s Mapo district to Yeouido, accounted for 85 of the suicide attempts – more than any other bridge. Sadly, the actual number of suicides is believed to have been even higher because the tallies don’t include cases reported to the police.