Kevin Hines: Surviving and thriving after a suicide attempt 

Thirteen years after he leapt off the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt at suicide, Kevin Hines lives to tell his story and encourage others that there is a way to survive and thrive even with a mental illness.
Since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, thousands of people have tried to kill themselves by leaping off. Only 34 have lived. Kevin Hines is one of them.

On September 24, 2000, the paranoid and hallucinating nineteen-year-old flung himself off the bridge in a suicide attempt. He went over headfirst, falling 245 feet straight down with only 4 seconds before hitting the Bay’s water. Kevin recalls, “There was a millisecond of free fall. In that instant, I thought, what have I just done? I don’t want to die. God, please save me.”
Whether it was throwing back his head in prayer or simply the angular momentum of his fall, Hines’s body rotated so that instead of hitting the water head-first, he landed in a sitting position, taking the impact in his legs and up through his back. A woman traveling over the bridge witness Kevin’s jump and quickly contacted the Coast Guard to rescue Kevin from the frigid San Francisco Bay water.

Those four seconds, toward the water, awakened him to what still drives him now: He wanted to live.
Blessed to walk away from such a traumatic experience with a few scars and the emotional internal battle, today Kevin has spoken to over a quarter million people about his first hand experience with suicidal thoughts and eventual attempt. He is the only survivor to jump off the bridge that is willing to discuss his journey openly in hopes that it may encourage another person to make different choices or arm those that may see signs of suicidal tendencies the tools to intervene. Kevin states, “People who die by suicide or attempt suicide don’t truly want to die. They may say the word ‘want,’ but they don’t. The psychosis brings them to the point of believing that they have to.”

Kevin has since moved forward to become an award-winning international speaker, author, and mental health advocate. In 2012, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding work as a suicide prevention advocate and speaker. He has also been recognized by SAMSHA as a Voice Awards Fellow and Award Winner, an Achievement Winner by Veterans Affairs, and he has received a Three Star Marine Generals Medal Award in addition to his numerous accolades.

While Kevin has came leaps and bounds from what he recalls as his darkest moment, he has learned not to try to eliminate his mental illness by force of will, but to navigate its currents.

Kevin’s will to live and stay mentally well has inspired hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. His compelling story has touched diverse audiences on university campuses, organizations, corporations, clergy, military, clinicians, the medical community, community organizations, and international conferences. Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt is his first book released in July 2013.

Hines will be sharing his story first hand at the Snow College Eccles Center for the Performing Arts on November 2 at 6:30 pm in Ephraim, Utah. The public is invited to join this event at no cost. There will be an exclusive book signing following the event. For more information about Kevin’s story visit www.kevinhinesstory.com or to pick up your complimentary tickets for the free event or more information on Snow College’s Health Wellness Center visit www.snow.edu/wellness .

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