Chen Si is a worker at a logistic company who has stopped more than 300 people from committing suicide off the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing, China.
The Angel of Nanjing is a self-funded superhero
Nanjing’s Yangtze River Bridge has been one of the world’s most popular suicide spots. One man named Chen Si has been volunteering on the bridge every weekend for the past 15 years. He has saved more than 330+ people so far.
“What could be more important than life itself?”
The unlikely Angel of Nanjing, Chen Si, first started going to the bridge back in 2003, reported Sarah Lin, for Shanhaiist. He arrived in Nanjing to work and met an old man who offered him lots of optimistic advice. The old man fell ill not too long after and his sons began arguing about inheritance — leading the old man to refuse to eat and eventually pass away. This incident is one of the main motivating factors for Chen to help others. He believes if he just went to talk to the old man, things might have been different. “What could be more important than life itself?” Chen asks.
Every weekend, Chen travels 25 kilometers to get to the bridge, arriving at 7:30 in the morning. He patrols the bridge on bike and on foot. If he meets somebody who wants to jump from the bridge, he talks to them and persuades them not to do it. In case he’s not there when someone needs help, he has also written his number of the bridge for people to call.
One of the reasons Chen can help these people is because he understands what they are feeling. Many of those who commit suicide on the bridge are not actually from Nanjing, but migrants working away from home in the city. Chen said that he was once one of those people, upset by life and far from home, but he has found that there is so much more to live for and doesn’t want anyone wasting their lives like that.
(Below, occasional wounds sustained from emotionally charged rescuees are a risk Chen is willing to take)
Being an Angel of Mercy runs its own risks… Chen Si’s compassion is not without its own hazards. He has been attacked more than once over the years by people who he was trying to save. Source: Shanghaiist.com
Donate: the filmmakers set up a fund through the official Angel of Nanjing website
Chen Si spends his own money to keep his community center open and to aide those in need. He works a full time job to support his humanitarian work and support his own family. This only allows him to go to the bridge on weekends and holidays. Many of you asked how could you help Chen Si. So the filmmakers set up an official and secure donation page where all funds will go directly to Chen Si.
Sad statistic: the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the most popular suicide site in the world The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge carries approximately 80,000 vehicles and 200 trains per day, and has far surpassed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge as the most popular suicide site in the world. Source: Facebook/AngelOfNanjing
17 Things Not to Say to Someone Who You Suspect is Suicidal — and What to Say Instead
When someone you know is feeling suicidal or struggling with thoughts of suicide, it can sometimes feel difficult to know what to say. Loved ones often strive to come across as caring, but sometimes things said with the best intentions can still come across as insensitive. For loved ones who want so badly to know what the “right” thing to say to someone who is feeling suicidal, this link for you.