In September of 2000, Kevin Hines began hearing voices.
Those voices tormented him day and night, telling him that he had to take his own life in order to end the torment and depression that accompanied living.
So Hines heeded their call.
He caught a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge, crying the entire way there. The second he jumped, he knew he had made a grave mistake.
Miraculously, Hines survived the jump. Only 33 other people have survived the 250-foot drop — less than one percent of those who attempt suicide off of the bridge.
After his astonishing survival, Hines discovered his true calling. He now holds lectures around the nation, encouraging college students to address mental health problems and attain emotional wellness.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., Hines will discuss suicide awareness and mental well-being with Mercer students, faculty and staff in Willingham Auditorium.
Carrie Ingoldsby, the director of campus life and student involvement, said that Mercer students are sure to benefit from this discussion.
“Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in students dealing with a variety of mental health issues,” Ingoldsby said. “With that, we have seen more students in crisis that have either threatened or attempted suicide. It’s not an issue that is discussed openly, but it impacts a good number of students on campus and needs to be addressed more openly.”
Ingoldsby said that Kevin’s talk will prove valuable even for students who do not personally struggle with mental illness.
“It’s important for students to recognize the signs associated with a friend or peer that might be struggling,” Ingoldsby said. “Kevin will likely shed light on some of these specific signs and help those going through his or her own struggle to reach out for help. Bottom line is all students will benefit from the information he provides. And it’s an amazing survival story. He not only survived but has found health and happiness since his attempt.”
Following his talk, Hines will be available to talk to students that would like to meet him or ask a question that they might not have wanted to ask out loud at the lecture.