DALTON – Kevin Hines, a motivational speaker, filmmaker and author who shares wisdom and words of hope about suicide prevention, will speak at Wahconah Regional High School tonight at 7 p.m.
The event will be held at the auditorium at Wahconah at 150 Old Windsor Road and is open to Berkshire County students and their families who want to attend. There is no registration required. Hines spoke to Wahconah students this morning in a session for the school.
The talk is organized by the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and was funded by a donation from Purgatory Road, a Dalton effort that sees 50 volunteers put together atmospheric environments, such as haunted houses or corn mazes, to raise money for suicide prevention efforts.
The donation for Hines to speak came from last year’s Purgatory Road; this year’s efforts will be held at the Dalton Community Recreation Association, 400 Main St., on Oct. 14, Oct. 15 and Oct. 21.
Hines survived a suicide attempt in 2000, after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He is one of 36 people to survive the jump, according to his website. As Bertha Connelly, vice president for the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention, put it, “the second that his hands left the railing, he realized he wanted to live.”
After surviving the fall, he went on to speak around the nation, bringing his perspective on life and story with him. Lisa Herland, interventionist for social, emotional and behavioral health for the Central Berkshire Regional School District, said the big takeaway from Hines’ presentation was that there’s always more hope to be found.
Herland said that in the previous session for Wahconah students, Hines had audience members record positive affirmations for themselves, among other lessons.
“We want to get people talking,” Herland said. “His message is to talk, to reach out, to not stay silent … that people do care, and that there’s hope.”