Kevin Hines, mental health advocate, presents at Edinboro University

Category:  News
Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 9:14 AM

Kevin Hines, mental health advocate, brought lessons wrapped in a personal narrative to Edinboro during his presentation Wednesday, Oct. 24. He shared his life story with the crowd, as he looked to encourage people to start a conversation about mental health.

Hines attempted suicide when he was 17 years old when he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge; he is of the 1 percent that has survived that fall. He decided to use his second chance at life to travel around the nation in hopes that he will help those who are suffering. 

He stated: “Pain is inevitable, everyone’s gotta deal with it, and suffering is optional. I haven’t suffered a day in my life, I’ve been given the gift of a second chance. I get to be here and if I get to be here, I’m gonna travel the world 300 plus days a year, trying to help at least one person in every audience do the very same.”

Hines talked about changing words and actions, asking audience members to, “Change the chain of damage that has been done.” He explained that this meant being kind to one another, rather than using hurtful words, and loving one another, rather than being harmful. He told the audience that being bullied as a child was a factor that led to his mental illness. 

Along with the knowledge that Hines left the audience, he also left mantras those present can say to themselves if they are struggling. One he provided was: “I will never die by my hands. I will fight the pain, in spite of the pain, to thrive someday.” The other was: “I am intended to be here until my natural end. Suicide is never the solution to my problems. It is the problem. I will fight the pain, in spite of the pain, to thrive someday. I deserve this life until my natural end.”

Hines also wanted to validate those who were struggling, telling the audience, “Your pain matters because you do.” 

At the end of the presentation, Hines left listeners with a final thought. “Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable; don’t learn the hard way like I did. Tell your truth: a pain shared is a pain halved.”

Samantha Schaupp can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: news, kevin hines

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