Mental-Health Advocate to Remind Campus Audience: ‘Life Is a Gift’

A suicide-prevention specialist, who jumped 220 feet into frigid San Francisco Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge more than 16 years ago, will share the compelling story of his unlikely survival in a rescheduled Pennsylvania College of Technology visit on Tuesday, April 11.

Kevin Hines, best-selling author of “Cracked, Not Broken,” will discuss his will to live – and his 10-step regimen for staying on track amid a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. His talk, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the college’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium, is free and open to the public. (The event was moved to a new date and time due to an unforeseen change in travel arrangements.)

Kevin Hines

“It was the first millisecond, the first moment of free fall,” recalls Hines, who is also an award-winning speaker and documentary filmmaker. “I knew it was the worst mistake I ever made.” He shattered three vertebrae and lacerated most of his lower organs, was rescued by a Coast Guard crew, and now travels the world to tell his story.

He will discuss clinical studies that wellness is important for everyone, not just those diagnosed with a mental illness.

“Hope helps heal. Today is not tomorrow,” he says. “Life is the greatest gift we have ever been given. No matter the pain we are experiencing, life is a gift.”

Organizers said Hines’ story should resonate on the Penn College campus and in the broader community, neither of which is immune from suicide or ignorant of the life-saving power of public awareness and hope for those who are struggling.

“Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around help-seeking behaviors, and the more we can engage our community in the conversation about mental health and well-being, the more we can create opportunities for individuals to get the help they need,” said Mallory L. Weymer, Penn College’s coordinator of student health and wellness/suicide prevention specialist.

“We have so much to learn from those who have survived suicide attempts and how they found their own journey to wellness. The insight that Kevin Hines has to share is important for all of us to hear so we can do everything we can to stop suicide.”

This event was developed, in part, under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Hines is also featured in a YouTube video shared by Student Affairs: