Only 33 people have survived the leap off of the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in 1937, compared to over 1,500 who have died from the fall. Kevin Hines of San Francisco became one of those few in September of 2000, when he was plucked from the frigid waters below the bridge at age 19. Nearly 13 years later, Hines is speaking out for suicide prevention with a new memoir and an awareness march.
Hines' memoir details his youth growing up as a foster kid in San Francisco, his adoption and the eventual diagnosis as bipolar when he was a teenager which led him to the bridge. Now, he has dedicated his life to helping others find help. "There is help out there, there is a lot of it," Hines told the Associated Press, "and there is hope."
The book, titled Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt will be released this summer.
On Saturday, Hines will lead a 5K fundraising walk sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness this Saturday, June 1st. Hines, who has been telling his story across the country, will speak at the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in Golden Gate Park's Lindley Meadow. Check-in for the free walk, which also has a 2K route, begins at 9 a.m. near 30th Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive. The walk will also focus on supporting veterans struggling with mental illness. Funds raised at the event will support NAMI's free mental health services throughout the Bay Area.
Last week, a 31-year-old homeless man survived an apparent suicide attempt from the Bridge. He was picked up by a sailing crew on the bay. In 2011, a High School Student also survived the fall after apparently jumping on a dare from classmates.