Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services will present “A Suicide Survived: The Kevin Hines Story” on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Center.
Kevin Hines was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 19, and two years later, in September 2000, he jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Hines is one of only 36 people (less than 1 percent of the 2,000 people who have jumped from the bridge since its completion in 1937) to survive the fall, and he is the only one to have fully recovered physically, wrote Bryn Athyn College Chair of Psychology Erica Hyatt.
According to KevinHinesstory. com, since his recovery, Hines has traveled across the globe advocating for mental health. His story was featured in the 2006 movie “The Bridge,” and in 2013 he published his memoir, “Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt.” Currently, in between speaking engagements, Hines is producing a documentary called “Suicide: The Ripple Effect.”
In addition to advocating and attempting to reach others with his own story, Hines holds positions on the boards of several councils and committees, including the International Bipolar Foundation, the Bridge Rail Foundation, the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and the Survivors Committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Today, he serves as an Ambassador to the National Council of Behavioral Health, according to his website.
In the years since his suicide attempt, Hines has been honored with numerous awards, including The Clifford W. Beers Award (Mental Health America’s highest honor), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Behavioral Health and more than 30 U.S. military excellence medals as a civilian.
In an article for his Huffington Post blog entitled “After My Suicide Attempt, I Made this Plan to Stay Alive and Well,” Hines wrote, “These stories of triumph over adversity are not just important for readers and followers of the mental health movement (an absolute civil rights movement of this or any time) but “imperative” for so many people’s continued survival.
Hines credits his Kevin Ryan, his uncle, for supporting him through his recovery; educating him on public speaking, suicide prevention, and mental health; and encouraging him in his speaking and advocacy careers. Ryan’s own struggle with substance abuse and his dedication to helping others during his recovery inspired Hines to incorporate healing others into his own recovery.
“Our goal in presenting Kevin Hines’s story is to raise awareness about suicide in young people and help their parents, peers and educators better understand this issue and how they can help,” said Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services Chief Officer Debbie Sanford.
This event is free and open to all members of the Hattiesburg community. After his presentation, Hines will be available to sign copies of his memoir, “Cracked, Not Broken.”