September: Suicide Prevention Month

By Samantha Sheridan
SC Staff Writer

ESU is observing Suicide Prevention Month by holding three free events available to the public.

The first event, the documentary “The Bridge,” will be held at the Pocono Community Theater on September 28 at 7:00 PM.

The movie, created by Eric Steel in 2006, is a collaboration of interviews and the documentation of a handful of people who committed suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The footage was obtained in 2004 when cameras were set up on the bridge. These cameras captured the last moments of a handful of lives.

The Office of Counseling and Psychological Services and Active Minds will hold the second event, a suicide prevention walk entitled Out of the Darkness.

The walk, which will begin at 6:00 PM on September 30, will raise money for suicide awareness.

The event is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Suicide Coalition of Monroe County, and East Stroudsburg University.

Registration for the walk will begin at 5:15 PM at the Hoeffner Science and Technology Center located on Normal Street.

Out of the Darkness will be accompanied by a lecture and book signing with an award winning author and speaker.

This last event will take place at 7:00 PM in the Keystone Room with Kevin Hines, author of the book “Cracked,Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt.” Hines’ book was released in July 2013 and has just entered its fourteenth printing.

Hines has won the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Three Star Marine Generals Medal Award for his work in suicide prevention.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMSHA) has recognized him as a Voice Awards Fellow and Award Winner.

Veterans Affairs has also recognized him as an Achievement Winner.

Hines’ lecture is the story of his suicide attempt that ultimately ended in his survival.

When Hines was 19 in 2000, two years after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to take his life.

Upon the jump, he regretted the decision and positioned his body so he would crash into the water and live.

Since the bridge was opened in 1937, an approximate 1,600 individuals have ended their lives with a jump.

He is one of 33 people to survive the jump. Since then, he has appeared on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta as well as on 20/20, Anderson Cooper 360, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America.

Dr. Linda Van Meter, Chair of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services, is also a member of the Coalition for Suicide Awareness for Monroe County. Dr. Van Meter was involved in the development of the event.

“Considering that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college-aged students, bringing Kevin Hines to campus to tell his story about his struggle with mental illness, suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge, and survival, is compelling and encourages open discussion about depression and suicide,” Dr. Van Meter said.

“After he jumped off the bridge, Kevin’s immediate thought was that he did not want to die. This is an important message for those struggling with depression and with thoughts of suicide, that a decision to kill oneself in one moment may be a very different decision in another,” Van Meter continued.

For more information on any of these events, contact ESU’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services at 570-422-3277. To register for Out of the Darkness, visit http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=3018.

Email Samantha at:
sks5945@live.esu.edu

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