Kevin Hines

Caroline Palermo, Editor in Chief

“Are you okay? Do you need help? How can I help you?” These are the three questions Kevin Hines wished he was asked nearly twenty years ago when he was having suicidal thoughts. Hines is one of nearly thirty people who jumped off the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and have survived. He is one of five people who have taken the jump that has been able to regain mobility. He describes his story as a miracle. He was lucky to have survived the jump. He was saved by a sea lion who kept him afloat after losing all feeling in his legs. He was eventually picked up by the coast guard and received the necessary surgery to save his life. After attempting to end his life, Mr. Hines describes a feeling of instant regret. At that moment, he knew he wanted to live, but he didn’t want to live the life he attempted to leave behind. This is when everything changed. 

After the surgery, Kevin decided to take this opportunity to live again and start anew. He has dedicated the rest of his life to public speaking and bringing awareness to mental health, while also providing advice on how to cope with mental health. This is why the Social Issues Awareness Club believed that he would be the perfect candidate to speak to the Freshmen and their transition leaders. Unfortunately, the sophomores and juniors were not able to attend, but the insight that Mr. Hines gave can be applicable to students and teachers of all ages. 

After the meeting, students were given the opportunity to ask questions. Many were concerned about how to address a similar situation if one feels his or her friend is going through a difficult time. Students were advised to reach out to a trusted adult. 

The pure regret felt after letting go of the railing reflects Mr. Hines’s belief that every individual has a purpose. All students should feel they do matter. High School can be a very stressful time. Given the unprecedented events of this year, it can be a very strange and difficult time. But, it is important to make the most of every moment you are given. To end the assembly, Hines listed the many things he would have missed had he not survived his attempt to self-harm, including his own wedding and the birth of his many god-children. These are the kinds of moments that we all live for, and Mr. Hines advised us to always enjoy what life has to offer: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today is a gift–that’s why they call it the present.”