Knoxville — Kevin Hines attempted suicide in 2000 by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He is among the less than 2 percent of jumpers who have survived the 220-foot fall into the San Francisco Bay. Hines will share his story of survival with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 14, in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.
Hines was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 17. By age 19, he was having hallucinations and had decided to end his life. Though he survived jumping from the bridge, the impact of hitting the water crushed several of his vertebrae. He now travels the country advocating for suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
Hines was featured in the 2006 documentary The Bridge, in which filmmakers filmed the bridge for a year, capturing a number of suicides, and spoke with family and friends of individuals who had jumped off of the bridge. More than 1,300 people have killed themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in 1937, making it the most popular place in the world to commit suicide. Around thirty people are known to have survived the fall.
Hines’s visit is sponsored by the UT Counseling Center and VolAware, UT Knoxville’s campaign to prevent violence, suicide, and substance abuse. VolAware encourages wellness and personal safety by linking the campus community with resources such as the UT Counseling Center, the UT Police Department, Student Health Services, and more. Learn more about VolAware at http://volaware.utk.edu.
Rebekah Winkler (865-974-8304, firstname.lastname@example.org)