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September 18, 2018

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Speaking from the heart

Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate bridge and lived to tell about it; now he talks about suicide prevention

By Monty Siekerman
How do you keep 70 people in rapt attention for two hours when discussing suicide?

How do you add genuine humor to a talk about suicide?

You speak from the heart, relaying your personal experience of surviving a suicide attempt.

And, you give the talk over and over and over, hoping to save the lives of those who might attempt suicide and save the heart-wrenching grief that comes to family and friends when death from suicide occurs.

Kevin Hines, one of the few people to ever survive a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, spoke at Ada Schools Auditorium on Tuesday evening. He gave the talk earlier in the day to 9-12 graders who volunteered to listen. Students from four area schools were in the audience, 70 from Ada.

He tells his audiences many things, but he hopes his listeners hear and remember at least two things.
1. If you consider suicide, talk with a close family member or friend.
2. If you see someone in emotional pain, stress, anguish, in tears, ask if they are ok.

Kevin's story is incredible, he was given a second chance at life. He uses that second chance to carry his message to audiences worldwide, he's authored the book "Cracked, but not Broken," and he is a suicide prevention and mental health advocate.

He said schools teach all kinds of health - sexual health, physical health, but he advocates more teaching of what he calls "brain health."

Following his talk, he joined in a panel discussion of first responders and mental health professionals.