Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN 10: 1442222409
ISBN 13: 978-1442222403
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable structures to define a modern city. Yet, for author Kevin Hines the bridge is not merely a marker of a place or a time. Instead, the bridge marks the beginning of his remarkable story. At 19 years old, Kevin attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge - a distance which took four seconds to fall. Recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Kevin had begun to hear voices telling him he had to die, and days before his attempt, he began to believe them.
The fall would break his body, but not his spirit. His story chronicles the extraordinary will of the author to live mentally well in the face of his mental illness: bipolar disorder with psychotic features. With each mental breakdown, however, the author’s desire to live mentally well-- and to be a mental health advocate-- pulls him from the depths of his condition. Kevin’s story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder to us to love the life we have. His story also reminds us that living mentally well takes time, endurance, hard work, and support. With these disciplines in place, those living with even very difficult diagnoses can achieve better lives for themselves and those who help to support and care for them.
At age 19, Hines nearly became one of the more than 2,000 people who have jumped to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge since it was built in 1937. Fortunately, however, Hines become part of a much better statistic: he is the 26th person known to have survived the 220-foot fall. The first-time author also found a reason for living after years of suffering without help from 'bipolar disorder 1 with psychotic features.' Now a well-known mental-health advocate, Hines presents a vivid and moving memoir of how he descended into mental breakdown, fought to overcome his demons with the help of family and medical experts, and has made it his 'life’s work to educate people all over this great country, and around the globe, to prevent suicide and understand mental illness.' Hines doesn’t go easy on the reader—he harrowingly describes his extreme paranoia, deep depressions, manic highs, hallucinations, and panic attacks. But he delivers a heartfelt message to other people who have undergone—or are undergoing—similar mental-health problems: 'always find hope, a future, and the epic beauty in life.' (Publishers Weekly)
Skilled international public speaker and mental health advocate Hines encourages audiences with inspirational presentations on the topic of suicide awareness and prevention and has been honored as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the National Council for Community Behavioral Health. . . This should appeal to fans of popular psychology. . . also patients of attempted suicide and their loved ones, who will find the select bibliography combined with Hines’s insight into the suicidal mind helpful. (Library Journal)
This is an excellent resource for anyone who has suffered the devastation of a loved one’s suicide or suicide attempt. This book should be an inspiration and a comfort to those who are suffering directly with mental illness. And it is a tribute to those who have lost their lives to these illnesses. (New York Journal of Books)
Cracked Not Broken is a testimony of ongoing recovery, where there is no false promise of a cure, but an affirmation that with hard work, persistence, and support, anyone can improve their quality of life. Hines does not hold back in this personal memoir of depression, mania, and suicidality. This book should be read by anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to live with a mental illness. ... Kevin Hines’ book does not disappoint when reflecting on his reputation as an award-winning author, mental health advocate, and international speaker. His influence on the fields of mental health and suicide awareness/prevention, has reached far and wide. Cracked Not Broken, chronicles the path that led him to a place of healing. (Suicidology.org)
Hines' story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder for us to love the life we have. (Virginia Review)
Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt is a striking story of survival and comes form an author who at age nineteen jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. The fall didn't end his life; it began a chronicle of facing mental illness - bipolar disorder - and a series of breakdowns that challenged the author's desire to live mentally well. His is a powerful saga that offers many insights to those struggling with life after a suicide attempt; from living daily with mental illness to navigating the world and discovering keys to better living. A 'must' for any health or self-help collection! (Midwest Book Review)
The most compelling and authentic account into the depths of mental illness and facing imminent death. This book covers the full range of human emotion and fills you with a true belief in miracles and survival. (Dr. Daniel J. Reidenberg, Psy.D., BCPC, FAPA, DAPA, CRS, CMT, CPAI, Executive Director – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education; Chair, American Psychotherapy Association)
A gripping memoir which recounts the inspiring story of a suicide survivor and one of the leading mental health advocates of our time. A must-read for anyone who's ever wanted to know about living with mental illness. (Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO, National Council for Behavioral Helath)
I've had the pleasure of knowing Kevin Hines for nearly a decade now, since that time as a Los Angeles Times reporter in San Francisco when I went looking to profile someone who had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge -- and survived. Not only did I find my man, but that young man changed my life. And became my friend. I spent time with Kevin. I trailed him to speaking engagements, accompanied him to the site where he jumped off that bridge as a troubled kid. I met his Dad and his now-wife Margie. I attended their wedding and have had dinner at their home. I have seen Kevin mature into a man, a young author and speaker, with a message to people in the Bay Area and across the nation: Suicide isn't the answer. Cracked, Not Broken should be required reading in Bay Area schools and for anyone else who wants to follow in the footsteps of a person with bipolar disorder who has emerged triumphant. (John M. Glionna, national reporter, Los Angeles Times)
Kevin’s remarkable story of resilience and courage provides keen insight into the intense ambivalence experienced by those who struggle with thoughts of suicide. It is tragic to think about the hundreds who may have similarly wished like Kevin to be back on the bridge immediately after jumping. However, it is also extremely hopeful that lives can be saved even when someone is truly intent on ending their pain. Cracked, Not Broken proclaims, “suicide is not inevitable for anyone” and that belief is strengthening commitment to suicide prevention everywhere from the Golden Gate Bridge to the US healthcare system. (David Covington, vice president, Adult and Youth Services, Magellan Health Services and Board Director, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare)
About the Author
Kevin Hines is an award-winning international speaker, author, and mental health advocate.
Kevin has been featured in the critically acclaimed film “The Bridge,” on Larry King Live, 20/20, Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, and Ireland’s famed Tonight with Vincent Browne. He has been featured in hundreds of radio, film, and television media outlets. Kevin has written countless articles about suicide awareness/prevention and ‘The Art of Living Mentally Well.’ His articles have appeared in the San Francisco Medical Magazine, The Santa Barbara Independent, New Voices at Bay, the National Council Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Advancements in Psychiatric Treatment, as well as many others. He was most recently honored as a Lifetime Achievement Award Winner by The National Council for Community Behavioral Health.