The Golden Gate Bridge is among the most recognizable structures in the United States, and the American Society of Civil Engineers declared it a wonder of the modern world. It has a dark history.

However, the bridge is regarded as the world’s most frequently used site for suicides.

Since 1937 when the bridge construction was completed, more than 1,700 people have killed themselves by jumping from the bridge.

The California Highway Patrol estimates that officers must stop someone from committing suicide on the site every three days on average.

Suicide is a public health concern; in 2019, it was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Kevin Hines once made a suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in 2000.

The underlying issues that trigger a suicide attempt are often tragic and complicated, but it is likely preventable with help.

Kevin did jump and hit the water below, but he survived all the injuries inflicted by the impact.

Now he is a man on a mission to help people who suffer from mental illnesses cope with their conditions.

YouTube

10 /10 Traumatic Infancy

Kevin also had a mental health problem, which he said was triggered by traumatic circumstances in his childhood.

His brother died, leading to many problems for him, including severe detachment disorder and abandonment issues.

At 9-month-old, he was fostered by the Hines family, who adopted him as soon as he turned 4.

Being part of the family was a blessing for Kevin, and everyone worked hard to ensure no one wanted anything.

The family gave Kevin the much-needed stability and opportunity for a better future.

Kevin Hines

9 /10 Lingering Past

Kevin says his biological parents sold drugs to make ends meet. The new home with the Hines was much better in every way imaginable.

Despite the supportive foster family, Kevin still couldn’t escape his unfortunate past. Memories of the traumatic infancy wouldn’t simply go away.

It did not help that at 17, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well – his birth parents suffered from the same condition –and a tendency to display psychotic behavior.

Hallucinations, depression, and panic attacks became parts of his life.






David Tran Photo / Shutterstock.com

8 /10 Paranoid Delusions

Kevin developed unreasonable fear of the eagle logo used by the United States Postal Service.

Each time a USPS vehicle approached from any direction, he would run away from it as fast as he could until asthma stopped him.

He often ended up in a location he didn’t even recognize. When he arrived home, he went straight to his room and stayed there for a long while. He never told his father about the peculiarity.

In between the hallucinations and paranoia, Kevin was suicidal.

7 /10 Eclectic Teenager

Before he knew about his mental problem, Kevin used to call himself an eclectic teenager.

He wrestled, played on a football team, and participated in the school’s theatre.

We’re all excellent for Kevin in life and growing up, except for his first year.

Everything took a quick sharp, deep-dive the moment he learned about the disorder.

It was as if all his life came crashing down at once.

The Hines family said they noticed some signs of mental issues, but they had no idea what to do with them.

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6 /10 Suicidal Noises

No one knew how bad the symptoms were.

Kevin didn’t tell anybody about the panic attack episodes. Things turned from bad to worse when he began to see and hear things other people could not.

A psychotic outburst at school prompted his mother to take him to a psychiatrist, but it was not much help.

Drugs didn’t help in his case, and the noises came telling him to commit suicide.

He gave in to the disturbing voices and jumped off the Golden Gate on September 25, 2000.

Kevin Hines Story

5 /10 Miraculous Survival

He broke his back and suffered other serious injuries but was still alive when the coast guard came to the rescue.

For an unknown reason, a sea lion had kept him afloat – meaning he could still breathe – until the first responders pulled him out of the water.

The incident was followed by a long, difficult mental and physical recovery.

Since his suicide attempt, Kevin has been admitted to a mental hospital at least nine times in 20 years.

YouTube

4 /10 Public Speaking

He fell 220 feet at a speed of around 75mph. He fell on the water, but the impact power was similar to hitting a hard surface.

According to doctors, two of Kevin’s vertebrae were crushed.

In just six months after the incident, Kevin gained enough strength to share his experience with the public.

One of his first public speaking events was at his former school, where he shared stories of his ordeal with over 100 students.

As he told his stories, Kevin cried the entire time.

3 /10 Surprisingly Positive Impact

Kevin knew he could make a difference when he received a call asking him to revisit the school. He also received thank-you notes from the students.

In some letters, students admitted to having suicidal thoughts.

Those students were then scheduled to receive any help they needed to cope with their difficulties.

Kevin said the suicide attempt was the worst decision of his life, but his survival and willingness to speak up yielded a surprisingly positive impact on others.

Twitter

2 /10 Never Stop

Starting in 2008, Kevin made public speaking his full-time job.

Now he travels worldwide to share his stories of despair, paranoia, mental issues, and survival in the hope of preventing others from making the same mistake he did more than 20 years ago.

He wants to encourage others to seek help and develop resilience against suicidal thoughts.

His father is convinced that Kevin has to tell the world about his ordeal and survival; Kevin needs to motivate people to conquer mental problems only with positivity and optimism.

Reddit

1 /10 Clifford W. Beers Award

Thanks to his efforts to help improve the lives of people with mental illnesses, Kevin Hines received the Clifford W. Beers Award – the highest honor by Mental Health America.

He said emotional pain is much worse than physical injury, and sometimes the pain invites suicidal thoughts

Often it seems impossible to escape from the ideas and noises, but even the simplest gesture of help can spark optimism.

Apart from his work in public speaking, Kevin has published a book and produced a documentary about suicides. 

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