Golden Apple: Suicide Prevention Advocate Tells His Story at CLC in Brainerd
According to the World Health Organization, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC cites suicide as the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults ages 10-24, and one in five adults in the United States experience a mental health illness.
Kevin Hines is traveling the country to tell his story and spread a message of hope. Smiles for Jake, a suicide prevention movement, hosted Hines and his presentation,”Be Here Tomorrow,” last week at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
Hines an author, storyteller, and filmmaker who travels the country telling his story of hope, healing, and recovery. He helps many students and public audiences recognize that just because you are having a hard time today, it doesn’t dictate your tomorrow.
In 23 years of his work and 200,000 letters sent to him from all over the world, during his visit through Brainerd Lakes area schools, Hines shared a personal story from a 12-year girl
“This wonderful young individual said, ‘Thank you Mr. Hines for coming to our school. I was going to take my life, you have changed my mind, I’m going to stay,'” said Hines. “It warmed my heart, it also broke my heart. I don’t own that, I’m not a lifesaver. I’m a conduit, I give a message, people go home, they do they work, they’re saving and changing their own lives, they just need to give themselves more credit.”
The month of May is known as Mental Health Awareness Month. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to share resources to raise awareness about mental health and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. Additional resources for support and information include:
- National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988
- Crisis Line & Referral Services: 218-828-4357
- National Alliance on Mental Health: nami.org
- Make It OK: makeitok.org
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: afsp.org