Kevin Hines, survivor of a suicide attempt off the Golden Gate Bridge, will be the featured speaker at Gateway Healthcare’s annual awards luncheon on May 19. The luncheon, to be held at The Crowne Plaza Hotel Warwick at 11:30 a.m., will discuss Rhode Island’s high suicide rate and how Hines suggests a community can respond.
Hines in September 2004 jumped from the deck of San Francisco’s Gold Gate Bridge, falling 220 feet (and two-thirds of the height of the city’s Transamerica Tower) before hitting the turbulent waters of the Pacific Ocean as they enter San Francisco Bay.
What made Hines different from the estimated 1,200 others who have jumped from the bridge was that he lived to tell about it, authoring the book “Cracked, Not Broken,” which relates how he got there, what went through his mind that night, and the life lessons he learned from it after surviving.
Hines will be in Rhode Island to discuss his path from depression and bipolar disorder, doing so in a state that has the nation’s highest suicide rate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rhode Island has also seen the nation’s third-highest increase in suicides among the middle-aged during the decade that included the recession and housing crisis. The CDC study found the suicide rate among those 35 to 64 in Rhode Island jumped 69 percent from 1999 to 2010, compared to a national increase of 28 percent. Only Wyoming and North Dakota had steeper hikes.
Also being recognized at the event are Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian; Kathy Grant of Beacon Health Strategies; CVS Caremark; and James McKenna of Adcare Hospital.
This event, which celebrates Gateway’s accomplishments and reflects on future endeavors, will highlight ongoing initiatives in Mental Health First Aid, an innovative training program designed to help members of the public support an individual experiencing a mental health crisis. Tickets are $75 per person. For tickets and reservations, contact Joanne King at 724-8400, ext. 236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.