Suicide survivor advocates for mental health services during ADAMHS 50th anniversary

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Kevin Hines now travels the world with a message of hope, but he says he learned the importance of mental health services at the depths of mental illness in 2000.

“I went to the Golden Gate Bridge and jumped off,” Hines said during a recent trip to Dayton. “It was the single worst mistake I ever made. I had instant regret from the moment my hands left that rail.”

Hines became one of fewer than 40 people to survive a fall from the famed San Francisco bridge, a landmark also known as a location for frequent suicide attempts. He is one of the only survivors to also regain full physical mobility.

The remarkable survival and recovery spurred Hines to become an advocate for brain health.

Thursday, he was the guest speaker at a 50th anniversary luncheon for the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. 

“Organizations like ADAMHS and the work they do for mental health is absolutely crucial,” Hines said. “We need more folks like ADAMHS doing the work.”

ADAMHS is one of 50 Ohio boards established to coordinate networks of public mental health and addiction treatment and recovery services. 

At Thursday’s event, the board awarded several individuals for their commitment to treatment and recovery. It also reflected on its progress over a half century.

“The issues have evolved in some regard,” said Paula Cosby, the director of external affairs for ADAMHS. “We have progressed in terms of how we look at recovery, we’ve progressed in how we treat brain illness, we’ve progressed in even how we talk about brain illnesses.”

The board said its focus in the coming years will continue to be on prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery.

Hines urged the importance of compassion for dealing with mental illness and promoting recovery.

“We’re human beings with hearts and souls who are in a lot of pain, who need a lot of help,” he said.

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or thoughts of suicide:

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Text CNQR to 741741

To learn more about ADAMHS services in Montgomery County, click here.

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