BOARDMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Thousands of people cross the Golden Gate Bridge each year.
For some, it's just a part of a daily commute. For others, it's a tourist attraction. However, for a growing number of people the bridge has become a symbol of escape.
That is why San Francisco resident Kevin Hines jumped from it on September 25, 2000 after a two year battle with bipolar disorder.
"The second I let go of that railing I knew I made a mistake. The second I let go of that rail, I said what have I just done? I don't want to die. God please save me," said Kevin Hines who spoke at Antone's Banquet Center in Boardman on Wednesday.
For whatever reason, Hines did survive the 220 foot fall.
And even though years ago he had no intent of ever sharing his story publicly, it's the path he has found himself on.
His long road to recovery began as soon as he was pulled from the water and it's a journey that has no clear end in sight.
"I still have all the symptoms; the paranoia, the delusions, the hallucinations both auditory and visual, the depression, the back breaking depression.
I have all of it and more. But I choose to move forward. I choose to live well and I choose to have the thought process that every day you awaken, every day we awaken as whole is a good day," Hines said.
Hines has devised a 10 step plan to living mentally well. In addition to admitting mental illness is real, Hines encourages people to exercise, eat healthy, develop routine sleeping habits, avoid alcohol and drugs, follow through with treatment, use medication as prescribed, and become educated about the mental health diagnosis.
If you or a loved one are in emotional distress, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 800-273-TALK (8255).