WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Kevin Hines recalled his trip on a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge 20 years ago. He was having a mental breakdown. He yelled out loud with other passengers on board hoping someone would say something to him. He thought he wanted to end his life. What he really wanted was someone to see his pain.
“I made a pact with myself that day that if one person intervenes, I’ll tell them everything and beg them to save me,” Hines says.
Hines was the featured speaker at Coastal Horizons’ Hope for the Hopeless virtual event Thursday. He told the viewers who watched live on WECT’s Facebook page that simply asking if someone is okay can save a life.
“You’re not going to reach everybody, let’s be honest,” Hines told the listeners. “When you find them in their break in sanity, they are so far gone it is hard to connect. But there are people like me who if someone had said ‘are you okay,’ I would have told them everything and I would have had a different outcome that day. Maybe the bus driver might have gotten involved. Who knows? So, if you see an opportunity that you can intervene in a kind and compassionate way, I highly recommend doing so.”
Hines was lucky. He jumped off the bridge that day and miraculously survived but said he regretted it instantly.
“It was the most terrifying few moments of my life. And I really believed for that moment--for those four seconds--that this would be the end of me, and I regretted it immeasurably. All I wanted to do was live.”
Hines told the virtual audience that most people who attempt suicide want to live. He encouraged the listeners to reach out to those who may be living with what he calls brain pain.
“If we can all be that agent of change in someone’s life who is going through hell and doesn’t know which way to turn, the world would be better off,” Hines said.
The Hope for Hopeless event was a fundraiser for Coastal Horizons Center, a non-profit agency that helps people in crisis. If you would like to make a donation, you can text coastalhorizons (one word) to 76278, or you can click here.
For more information on the Kevin and Margaret Hines Foundation, click here.