KIRKSVILLE, Missouri – A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) invites area community members to join international speaker Kevin Hines as he shares his personal story of resiliency and living mentally well. Hines, who is himself a suicide survivor, activist, storyteller, and filmmaker, travels around the globe to share his compelling story and message advocating for mental health awareness.
Mental health awareness is the focus of ATSU-KCOM’s 125th anniversary community-based project, and Hines will deliver his presentation March 27, 2018, at Truman State University’s Baldwin Hall Auditorium beginning at 7:00 p.m. This inspirational and educational presentation is free and open to the public. For additional information on ATSU-KCOM’s community-based mental health awareness project and collaboration with Truman State University, Kirksville R-III School District, and other community partners, visit iconnect.atsu.edu/for-the-love-of-community.
“Mental health wellbeing is critical to the success of individuals and society as a whole. The need to improve understanding and awareness of the issues surrounding mental health is of a huge concern, even in our own community,” says Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, dean, ATSU-KCOM. “This event provides an opportunity for us to better educate citizens and the community about the challenges and solutions that benefit us all. We are pleased to offer the powerful message this speaker brings to our community.”
As an advocate for mental health issues and suicide prevention, Hines’ will to live and stay mentally well has inspired people worldwide. Hines has spoken to diverse global audiences representing education, health professions, corporations, clergy, military, law enforcement, and various other industries.
Hines is an active board member for the International Bipolar Foundation, Bridge Rail Foundation, and Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and he serves on the Survivors Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. He is a past board member of the Northern California Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and a two-term member of San Francisco’s Mental Health Board. Hines has spoken in congressional hearings alongside Patrick Kennedy in support of the Mental Health Parity Bill, and he continues his policy work as an ambassador to the National Council for Behavioral Health.
In 2016, Hines was awarded Mental Health America’s highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, for his efforts to improve the lives of and attitudes toward people with mental illnesses. Other recognitions have included a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Behavioral Health in partnership with Eli Lilly, award recipient of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Voice Awards Fellowship Program, an Achievement Winner by U.S. Veterans Affairs, and he has received more than 30 U.S. military excellence medals as a civilian.
Hines released his memoir titled “Cracked not Broken, Surviving and Thriving after a Suicide Attempt,” and he is currently producing a documentary titled “Suicide: The Ripple Effect.” His story was featured in the 2006 film “The Bridge” by film director and producer Eric Steel.