From depths of despair, a reason to live
Kevin Hines arrives in Hamburg today, bearing precious witness. He offers the rarest of all perspectives in a nation where the suicide rate climbed by 33 percent between 1999 and 2017, where information released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Americans between 10 and 34.
Hines made the choice to take his own life. In 2000, at 19, he rode a bus to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a place where at least 1,500 are believed to have died by suicide over the last 82 years. Hines, weeping and distraught, climbed over the railing at a point about 220 feet above the water.
It took him about 4 seconds to reach bottom. The cold air, the fast descent, blew everything out of his mind but one clear thought: He wanted to live.
The odds, by astronomical measure, were against that, as he will tell his audience at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Hamburg High School auditorium. A