by: Eric M. Kussin

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08 March 2019

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Meeting Global Advocate-Kevin Hines

Right when I first started this journey, more than a year ago now, I went to a mental health first aid course at the school of our board member, Johane Ligonde.  One of the videos they used was from one of the world’s top MH advocates, Kevin Hines – someone who’s been talking about this topic since 2001!  Think about that…he was telling his story WAY before others started to do so.
That story, which I won’t reveal too much about now (tho many of you may know already), involves surviving jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in SF.
But Kevin doesn’t just talk about the complexities of that action. He talks about all that went into it – for the benefit of others…& all that’s come since.
Kevin’s lovely wife, Margaret Hines reached out via LinkedIn a few wks ago, to grab dinner when they came up to NYC from ATL.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going in…nor do I think they knew what to expect…but a # of hrs later, it felt like old friends chatting. I go w my gut when meeting ppl, reading their character & motivations…& my gut has typically steered me well.  Let me say that Margaret & Kevin are ppl who are in this for the right reasons.
We talked about so many things including why we speak to folks, the grind of the road, the benefits of being vulnerable & sharing our stories.  The Hines do this to HELP ppl. And much like I was sharing yesterday w the Hilinski’s Hope #3for3 Challenge, they want to collaborate, want to come together, want to show ppl out there a unified front of advocates. It’s not about individual ego w them, & I so appreciate that. It’s what we’ve built our #SameHere alliance arnd – genuineness & vulnerability.
Kevin shared the following w me: “I realized I had to shift from talking about my battle w Bipolar specifically, to my battle w emotional & mental pain. Not suffering, bc I want ppl to know they can get thru this. But, the pain is what anyone can relate to & opens up my story to everyone, not just those w Bipolar specifically.” Sounds like a #SameHere🤙 Story to me!
More to come on formally sharing the Hines’ story in the alliance & fun collaborations. I really like these two 🙂!
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