Golden Gate Bridge jump survivor coming to Red Deer

Author brings message of hope

A man who survived an attempted suicide jump from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge will be in Red Deer on Thursday to bring his message of hope to those who have lost all hope.

American Kevin Hines wrote the book Cracked Not Broken about his suicide attempt in 2000 at the age of 19 after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“I’ve attempted a few times. This was the worst attempt and most dangerous. It’s 99 per cent fatal,” said Hines on Monday, who was flying to Louisiana to make a presentation.

Hines fell 25 stories in four seconds at 120 km per hour and is one of 34 people who have survived jumping from the bridge, and the only one to regain full physical mobility.

The award-winning global speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker, suicide prevention and mental health advocate said he has since given more than 10,000 talks.

Hines said he reluctantly started speaking to groups seven months after his attempt because someone told him his story could help people.

Wearing a back brace for his broken back and balancing with a cane, he read his speech straight from the page, letting each page fall to the floor. Afterwards, though, he didn’t help anybody.

Then he got a call from organizers of the presentation.

“They gave me an envelope with 120 letters from 120 kids who were at my presentation, and six of them were actively suicidal. Because those letters were screened, because those kids were minors under the age of 18, we were able to get those kids help. That’s when I knew I had to do this, and I haven’t stopped.”

His presentation, Cracked Not Broken, is presented by Suicide Information &Education Services at 7 p.m. at Sheraton Red Deer. For tickets and information visit suicidehelp.ca.

For immediate crisis intervention call the Distress Line at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) for the 403 area code, the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642, Kid’s Help Line at 1-800-668-6868, or Native Youth Crisis Hot Line at 1-877-209-1266.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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