Today@Sam Article

Documentary “The Ripple Effect” Highlights The Importance Of Mental Health

Nov. 6, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

BeHereTomorrow"Be here tomorrow," is a simple phrase spreading across the country when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention thanks to one man’s journey following his attempt to take his life.

At age 19, Kevin Hines jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, Hines is a world-renowned mental health advocate, motivational speaker and author who travels the globe spreading a message of hope, recovery and wellness.

Thanks to sponsorship from the Student Health and Counseling Center, the vice president's office of the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of the Provost, Sam Houston State University will host Hines on campus for a keynote address on mental health next semester. However, before that event, the campus community is encouraged to attend a screening of his documentary “The Ripple Effect” on Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. in Olsen auditorium.

The film chronicles Kevin’s personal journey and the ripple effect it had on those impacted by his suicide attempt and his life's work since. In addition, the film highlights the stories of individuals and families who are utilizing their personal tragedy to bring hope and healing to others.

“This film is part of a global mission to help reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts around the world,” Hines said. “Through sharing stories of survival and recovery we are creating significant awareness of this health crisis, while helping people find the support they need to stay alive, heal and #BeHereTomorrow!”

Hines will visit Sam Houston State University on Feb. 12, 2020 to deliver his keynote speech in the LSC ballroom. Before the documentary screening on campus, Today@Sam was able to speak with Hines for a quick Q&A. Check out our conversation below and watch the trailer for “The Ripple Effect.”

T@S: “The Ripple Effect,” that is a powerful name. Where did you come up with the idea for it?

KH: When I went back to the bridge one year later with my father, we dropped a flower off the bridge. It hit the water, making the tiniest of ripple effects, but it was big for me. It was a beautiful moment I had with my dad.

T@S: What is your goal for this documentary?

KH: The goal of the documentary is to help people find hope so they can heal and stay in recovery and keep themselves alive. The goal is to help people recognize their true value and show them that they are worthy of this life and that suicide does not have to be the answer.

OkToTalkT@S: What is your goal when you walk into a high school gymnasium, or college classroom or anywhere you are about to give a public speech about your story?

KH: We want to reach as many people as possible on a deep and human level, so they can make a change in their life. I want to show them my triumph over adversity and let them know that they can triumph over their own struggles.

T@S: Why is it important for young people, like college students here at Sam Houston State University, to watch this documentary and have advocates around them or be advocate for someone else?

KH: If we inspire folks to be advocates for themselves and others they will have a greater chance at success. I think helping young people be resilient is important, because we want them to know they are strong enough to continue to move forward in life.

T@S: How did you come up with the hash tag #BeHereTomorrow?

KH: We coined the phrase during the filming of the documentary. I wanted to find a way to encapsulate my attitude about taking on life one day at a time. Every day is a battle. So finding a rallying cry to help some people to get to the next day is crucial. It is a motto I live by. We have created a line of apparel to go with it and 100 percent of those proceeds go towards the American Association of Suicidology. We are using those funds to benefit suicide prevention as a whole.

T@S: We have mental health groups or clubs here on campus, one is called active minds, what do you think of groups like this and their importance, for college students to see that they are not alone in this?

KH: I think groups like that are imperative to college campuses so that people do not feel like they are alone. When that occurs you can get through your pain a lot easier. It is important for students to get a sense of belonging, a sense that they matter and hold value.

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