Suicide survivor brings message of hope to Tennessee Valley
One man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived is in town and hopes his testimony can save a life.
"I wanted to reach back, but the rail was gone. I was in free fall and I just prayed to God, ‘please save me, I don’t want to die! I made a mistake,’” recounted Kevin Hines, as he relived the moment he attempted suicide.
At 19, Kevin Hines became one of 38 people to attempt suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and survive. Tuesday, September 25th will be the exact day he attempted to end his life.
"What you need to do if you have thoughts in a suicidal crisis is turn to someone who loves you, someone who cares about you, someone who is ready to empathize,” explains Hines, as he spoke about ways to prevent someone from committing suicide.
“And say, 'I need help now!' Four simple and effective words and if that person can't help you find someone who will. You deserve to be here. You are intended to be here. This life has a purpose and it's not to die by your hands," added Hines.
Three Tennesseans die each day from suicide. Across the country, suicide claims a life every 13 minutes. It's the second leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 24.
Melissa Arkin, CEO of Parkridge Valley, says, “If you look at some of the posts that kids post to each other, they can be really mean. You’ll see different text or posts with things on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat or whatever they're using today and someone may say they are feeling suicidal, and the response they get back is, 'well, you should just kill yourself.'"
Hines says the best thing you can do to help someone at risk is to listen.
No matter if you're the one listening or you need someone to listen, both Hines and Arkin point to a statewide hotline for help.