Kevin Hines, whose struggle with bipolar disorder led him to attempt suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, will speak about the painful realities of mental illness as part of Rockford Public Schools’ Developing Healthy Kids series. Hines’ talk on Oct. 17, “The Bridge,” aims to foster a “critical bridge of hope between life and death” for people struggling with serious mental illness.
|If You Go
Who: Kevin Hines, author, filmmaker and mental-health advocate
What: Lecture and Community Mental Health Resource Expo
When: Wednesday, Oct. 17; lecture at 6:30 p.m., expo at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Where: Rockford High School auditorium and cafeteria
Hines, who was diagnosed at age 19, is one of just 34 people to survive a fall off the bridge, and the only one to regain full physical mobility, according to promotional materials. He is the author of “Cracked but not Broken” and “Through the Eyes of One,” and will be available to sign them at the event.
Before and after his talk, visitors can tour a Community Mental Health Resource Expo featuring therapists, advocates and support organizations.
The program returns to the speaker series’ original mission of mental health awareness and suicide prevention, said Kirsten Myers, director of special services for Rockford Public Schools. “
“We feel strongly that we have opened the lines of communication in the last six years of DHK programming and have decreased some of the stigma associated with mental health,” Myers said. “However, we have not gone back and openly faced the topic of suicide since the first year. These conversations are critical, important, and life-saving, which is why we planned this powerful event.”