+
More

This traffic cop has prevented over 200 people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some, like former California Highway Patrol officer Kevin Briggs, wear a traffic cop uniform and a smile.

[rebelmouse-image 19477905 dam="1" original_size="735x368" caption="All screenshots from "The Traffic Cop Who Became the Guardian of the Golden Gate."" expand=1]All screenshots from "The Traffic Cop Who Became the Guardian of the Golden Gate."


Former San Francisco Sergeant Kevin Briggs has been credited with preventing more than 200 people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.    

The iconic — but notorious — California landmark has gained a conflicting reputation as one of the sites that has the highest number of suicides in the United States: Almost 1,700 people have jumped to their deaths.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

One of those people was a man named James, who jumped right in front of Briggs — and that experience changed his life forever.  

“I know that when someone gets to that level, it’s very, very difficult to get through to them and to get them to come back. But, we have to try.”

Briggs learned more about James' history, including his struggles with mental illness. It was a common thread that Briggs saw during his years as a highway traffic patrol cop. He saw people contemplate suicide often, and his job was to work with them to see if he could get them back.

But Briggs didn't have a lot of experience with mental illness. His office didn't have any training on how to work with people struggling with mental illness, so he researched it himself. He went through the basics of mental illness, the stage of various illnesses, and how to approach someone contemplating suicide.

His dedication mattered. In 2005, Briggs was photographed talking Kevin Berthia off the bridge ledge in an iconic photo.

Berthia was one of many people who Briggs helped to save. As he gained more experience with preventing people from jumping off the bridge, he asked them about his methods — including what worked and what didn't — so he could help more people.

“It took a lot of courage to go over that rail," said Briggs. "Personally, I think it takes even more courage to come back.”

While the academic understanding of mental illness was relatively new to Briggs, suicide was not. He lost his grandfather to suicide as a child.

A young Kevin Briggs.

Briggs was aware that mental illness could be in his family, but his own diagnosis was still a surprise.

It wasn't until he saw his doctor for a routine physical that he was diagnosed with depression. This revelation only pushed Briggs to learn and help others even more.

“If I’m experiencing these things — if I can help somebody else through a very, very dark time, I’m gonna. I’m gonna do my darnedest to try and do that.”    

Though retired, Briggs shows no signs of slowing down on his journey to help others. He began giving speeches around the country — including a powerful Ted Talk — on how to develop the necessary courage and skills to help others suffering with suicidal thoughts.

In 2014, Kevin Briggs gave a moving Ted Talk on the bridge between suicide and life.

Initially afraid of being ridiculed at his job or ostracized by friends, Briggs ended up receiving numerous letters of gratitude from people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, who thanked him for his work and influence in their lives. Through his work, he's gained numerous new friends around the world, and he's changed lives while doing it.  

“I want to reach as many people as I can, to show them that there is a way not only to survive, but to thrive.”  

Watch Kevin Briggs talk about his life-saving work below:

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Actress Julia Fox shares a tour of her cluttered NYC apartment, and it's a relatable mess

"Hopefully, somebody watches this and thinks, ‘Well, OK, maybe I’m not doing so bad.’”

@juliafox/TikTok

Julia Fox taking viewers on a tour of her apartment in New York.

To live in a perfectly curated, always tidy, Marie Kondo-worthy home might be a lovely fantasy. But for many, dare I say most of us, that is simply not a reality. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or helpful hands in the house to keep it from getting messy multiple times a week. Square that by a million if the home has small kiddos in it. And if there’s only one parent to clean up after those small kiddos? Forget about it.

That’s why people are letting out a huge sigh of relief after getting a video tour of Julia Fox’s New York apartment in all its glorious disarray.

The actress and model is often seen wearing bold, high-end fashion pieces at glamorous events like the Met Gala,

but her home is anything but glamorous.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less