MUNISING — To this day, 36 people have survived attempting suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge. One of these survivors and the only who did not receive any permanent bodily damage spoke today at several different schools across the U.P.
It’s a subject that is often shied away from but prevalent in communities everywhere.
“I live with bipolar disorder and I tried to take my own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Storyteller, Kevin Hines.
Suicide is something that Kevin himself attempted but he is one out of 36 people who have survived this exact attempt. Kevin Hines now shares his story.
“Clearly I survived and since my survival, I began to talk about my experience and try to help other people who were suicidal, stay here,” said Hines.
Hines travels to different schools to speak with high school students and community members on hope, healing, and finding help.
“Record numbers of high school students are contemplating suicide and attempting suicide. We need to reach them at a young age before they get to the position in life so they recognized, they don’t have to learn the hard way like I did. They can find help, they can find hope, and they can find healing and recovery with treatment,” said Hines.
Although local communities have recently been shaken by related events, the main message that Munising High School Superintendent wants to get across to the students, is they are not alone.
“We want the kids to know that we care about them. Suicide has touched schools and communities, we want them to know that it’s not the right answer, that their problems can be solved,” said Munising High School Superintendent, Pete Kelto.
The idea behind having Kevin present at area schools was put together by the Alger County Community Collaborative, that wanted to get the community talking about the issue and raise awareness about help available to anyone in need.
“Kevin has a very uplifting story and I think he has a very strong message in regards to mental illness and the need to really talk and tell people when there’s trouble,” said Communities that Care Coordinator for Alger County, Mary Jo’Hollaran–Torongo.
Kevin’s goal is to share a simple message, created to inspire and impact everyone of all ages.
“The idea today is to express a message of hope so that the students here today, see that today is not tomorrow. Just because they are in pain now, it doesn’t mean the rest of their life won’t be beautiful,” said Hines.