Kevin Hines is a global speaker, author and mental health advocate who reaches audiences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Two years after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (at 19 years of age), he attempted to take his own life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. He is one of only thirty-four (less than 1%) to survive the fall and he is the only Golden Gate Bridge jump survivor who is actively spreading the message of living mentally healthy around the globe.
In 2012, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding work as a suicide prevention advocate and speaker by the National Council of Behavioral Health. He has also been recognized by SAMHSA as a Voice Awards Fellow and Award Winner, an Achievement Winner by the US Veterans Affairs, and he has received a Three Star Marine General’s Medal Award in addition to his numerous accolades. Kevin’s will to live and stay mentally well has inspired people worldwide. His compelling story has touched diverse, global audiences with university campuses, high schools, corporations, clergy, military, clinicians, health and medical communities, law enforcement organizations, and various conferences.
Kevin sits on honorary boards of both the International Bipolar Foundation (dedicated to healing from Bipolar Disorder) as well as the Bridge Rail Foundation (dedicated to ending suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge). He is currently a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Consumer Survivors Sub-Committee. Kevin was a two term member of San Francisco’s Mental Health Board and has spoken in congressional hearings alongside Patrick Kennedy in support of The Mental Health Parity Bill. He sat on the San Francisco Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for one year and helped raise over $30,000 for the AFSP.
In the summer of 2013, Kevin released his memoir titled, Cracked Not Broken, The Kevin Hines Story. It has continued to sell out and is on several bestsellers’ lists. His story was featured in the film “The Bridge” by the film director and producer Eric Steel. Thousands of people have reached out to him expressing thanks for his message of hope.
Kevin believes in the power of the human spirit and in the fact that you can find the ability to live mentally well. Maybe not every day, but certainly most days. His mantra: “Life is a gift, that is why they call it the present. Cherish it always.”
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable structures to define a modern city. Yet, for author Kevin Hines the bridge is not merely a marker of a place or a time. Instead, the bridge marks the beginning of his remarkable story. At 19 years old, Kevin attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge – a distance which took four seconds to fall. Recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Kevin had begun to hear voices telling him he had to die, and days before his attempt, he began to believe them.
The fall would break his body, but not his spirit. His story chronicles the extraordinary will of the author to live mentally well in the face of his mental illness: bipolar disorder with psychotic features. With each mental breakdown, however, the author’s desire to live mentally well– and to be a mental health advocate– pulls him from the depths of his condition. Kevin’s story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder to us to love the life we have. His story also reminds us that living mentally well takes time, endurance, hard work, and support. With these disciplines in place, those living with even very difficult diagnoses can achieve better lives for themselves and those who help to support and care for them.
The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic structure; a symbol of San Francisco, the West, freedom – and something more, something spiritual, something words cannot describe. The director and crew spent an entire year focusing on the Bridge. Running cameras for almost every daylight minute, they documented nearly two dozen suicides and a great many unrealized attempts. In addition, the director captured nearly 100 hours of incredibly frank, deeply personal, often heart-wrenching interviews with the families and friends of the departed, as well as with several of the attempters themselves.
Kevin Hines, his presentations and his websites do not offer personal medical, or mental health services or advice. He is not a licensed clinician, nor does he give medical or psychiatric services. Kevin’s goal is to spread a message of how he tried, through dedication and hard work, while following a treatment plan which his doctor’s, and clinicians set for him: to change his life and how he learned to live mentally well. his presentations and sites express the truth about his personal experience with having a very severe mental disease. He shares his story of how he personally rose above the statistics and is now living mentally well, as he believes you can too.
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