Dozens gather in support of suicide prevention barriers at French King Bridge

Franklin County

GILL, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of people stood out Saturday on the French King Bridge in Gill, to show support for installing suicide prevention barriers.

People of all ages held signs to raise awareness of the ongoing battle to get barriers installed. Both the town administrations of Erving and Gill are in support of the barriers.

From 2009 to 2019, emergency services responded to 315 calls for potential suicides on the bridge. Two months ago, Stacey Hamel, whose stepson took his own life on the bridge, vowed to line the bridge with supporters to show the necessity of the barriers.

On Saturday, she did just that.

“So thrilled with the number of people who came out,” Hamel told 22News. “I was a little sick to my stomach driving up here. I was more sick to my stomach when I had to walk over the bridge and realize that’s where my son spent his final minutes.”

Hamel says the next MassDOT step is a design mock-up that will go out to the towns for commentary and then funding will be raised for the project.

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