Nothing scares us like people who need help

On Sunday, a woman whom we do not know, climbed over the fence of a bridge over Interstate 494 in Inver Grove Heights and jumped for reasons we will never know. We don’t want to know.

That’s the nature of suicide. The less we know, we tell ourselves, the less likely it will happen.

We will all shake our heads at the sadness and move along, not wondering what leads a 29-year-old woman down a path of hopelessness to the point at which jumping off a bridge is a logical solution.

If we pried, we might not like what we find.

We’re afraid of people who need help.

In Eagle Lake, Minn., near Mankato, a plan to help troubled youth has been rejected, the Mankato Free Press reports today.

The Church of Christ, a non-denominational church, wanted to turn over its building to the Leo A. Hoffmann Center to provide services to troubled teens.

It was to offer both outpatient and inpatient mental health services for boys and girls ages 12 to 17 with emotional problems.

“There isn’t anything like this for kids in the immediate Mankato area,” the organization’s director said. He said the location would not replicate one in St. Peter, Minn., which counsels boys who’ve acted out inappropriately sexually. This would be for teens with emotional problems.

Those teens exist already, but offering them help is usually scary business for the healthy.

He said the building would have brought 40 full-time employees. He said the building would have been secured and covered by cameras and staff.

“I’m as concerned about keeping the community safe as I am about keeping our kids and staff safe.”

But most of the 20 residents who attended the meeting Monday night, including several who live near the church, raised concerns about the safety of their children, despite Taylor’s assurance that in his decades in the business he’s never seen an adolescent client go out and hurt another child in the community.

The City Council rejected the plan, citing water and sewer problems.

The director of the organization says he’ll look elsewhere.

When it comes to mental health, we’ve all become expert at looking the other way.