Dina Kupfer reporting

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24-year-olds, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

A local high school is raising awareness about the mental health crises in teens.

As part of a social justice summit at Jesuit High School, staff held an assembly about mental health awareness and they hosted guest speaker Kevin Hines, a suicide survivor, and activist. He shared the very personal story of his failed suicide attempt off of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nearly two decades after Kevin Hines tried to end his life, he addressed the entire student body at Jesuit High School, reflecting on that fateful day.

“I was compelled to die there because of suicidal thoughts, voices in my head not that of my conscience, and severe depression. I was in a place where I thought that I had to end my life, but I was wrong,” Hines said.

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When he was 19-years-old Hines, who was suffering from bipolar disorder, jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. The nearly 240-foot drop took roughly four seconds before his body hit the frigid water at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour.

Miraculously, Hines survived and gained a second chance at life.

“I got to live on September 25, 2000, when I went to the Golden Gate Bridge to try to end my life,” Hines said.

Nearly 1,700 have died by suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge since it was erected in 1937. Hines is one of the 36 survivors, part of the most exclusive group of survivors in the world.

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Hines is now happily married and has a new perspective on life. He travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing, and recovery.

“I am very grateful to exist. To get to walk and breathe every single day. I went to an all-boys Catholic HS (shoutout). I won’t say that here I don’t want to get in trouble!” Hines said. “All of these kids, we hope, we affect change today and we absolutely transform their minds and give them hope.”

Construction began last year on a suicide barrier at the Golden Gate Bridge. Mental Health experts hope when the net is completed in 2021, the suicide rate will drop to zero.

If you’re suffering or know someone who has been struggling with suicide call 1-800-273-8255. To learn more about Kevin’s story and his mission, visit his website.

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