Years after his suicide attempt, Kevin Hines will visit TCU Wednesday to talk about his journey before and after he attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge at age 19.
Hines is one of 33 Golden Gate Bridge jump survivors. Less than 2 percent of those who survived regained full mobility as Hines has, according to Hines’website.
Hines is now a mental health advocate, award-winning international speaker and author who travels the world to share his story, according to his website.
The TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center, the Foundation for Suicide Prevention, TCU Panhellenic, Actives Minds and the R U OK? campaign have been working together to bring Hines to campus “to recognize the importance of suicide prevention and how to maintain mental health,” Lisa Albert, director of communications, wrote in a press release.
Eric Wood, associate director for the Counseling and Mental Health Center, said having Hines speak on campus is a great opportunity for students and the community to hear a personal message from someone who has been through the struggle.
“To hear someone with a personal side, I guarantee people can relate, because most people know at least someone who has struggled and to hear that side,” Wood said. “How he went from a really dark place, how he’s in a completely different place, and the message of hope.”
Last spring, Cortney Gumbleton, suicide prevention outreach coordinator, was presented with the Garrett Lee Smith Grant and began looking for possible outreach opportunities to host on campus, she said.
Gumbleton said just a couple weeks into looking into possible events, she was listening to National Public Radio on her way to campus and heard about Kevin Hines.
“They were talking about how he was a 19-year-old college student who had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, how he had tried to end his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and his miraculous story of survival,” Gumbleton said. “Now how he travels the world as a mental health advocate, it was like fate.”
Gumbleton brought a community organization, student organizations and campus departments together to co-sponsor this event. Since it is partially Panhellenic-sponsored, she is expecting a large audience.
There will be a book signing following the lecture, where copies of “Cracked Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After A Suicide Attempt,” will be available for purchase, so Gumbleton encourages students to bring cash.
Along with the lecture and book signing, there will be a small resource fair outside the ballroom for students who want to become more educated on suicide or want to get involved, Gumbleton said.
Gumbleton will also be interviewing Hines on The Wellness Spot, the health-based KTCU radio show. She said she wants to get his story out there to as many people as possible, especially those who can’t attend the event.
“As an alum, I know the pressure TCU students go through,” Gumbleton said.